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Prediction of wound infection

20th November 2006

Post-operative infections could soon be prevented, thanks to a new hand-held probe that can predict the risk of infection.

Infections in surgical wounds, including those caused by the superbug MRSA, cause major problems following surgery and can cause serious illness and increased length of hospital stays.

Now as little as 12 hours after surgery, the probe can tell whether a wound is likely to become infected, allowing medics to take preventative steps.

While contamination can cause infections, some patients are known to be at a much higher risk due to a lack of oxygen-rich blood to their wound.

Now the new device, developed at the University Hospital of North Durham, bounces infra-red light into the skin around the wound and provides information on the colour of the blood, red for oxygen-rich and purple for oxygen-poor.

A larger clinical trial is now set to take place in the US.



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