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Brighton designer devises bug-fighting bracelet
A Brighton designer has unveiled a bracelet which could be used as the latest weapon in the fight against hospital infections.
Design graduate Maddy Conaghan has been tackling the question of how medics on ward rounds can help avoid spreading cases of highly contagious bugs like MRSA.
The 22-year-old believes she has come up with a speedy answer that can keep numbers down without doctors or nurses having to take time out to use hygiene dispensers.
Ms Conaghan, who studied product design at the University of Brighton, has created a gadget called Flo.
It is a portable hand sanitation device worn round the wrists like a bracelet.
When the doctor or nurse has finished with one patient, he or she rubs the device and sanitising liquid is automatically dispensed to be massaged on to the palms and forearms.
The device is quick and means staff can carry on with their work without delays or disruptions.
Flo caught the eye of design experts who selected it for an exhibition at the recent Product Design Centre in London.
Ms Conaghan has also had backing from nursing staff who helped her with her research.
Peter Atkinson, a community nurse from Brighton, said: “It’s vital that we protect our patients from infection and Maddy’s device looks like it could be a real winner as it’s so straight forward and convenient.”
Ms Conaghan hopes to develop Flo into a commercial venture but says producing innovations that can support others is her driving force.
She said: “Design that can really help people is what I am passionate about and Flo could help medical staff keep infection rates down without interrupting patient contact.”
Infections such as MRSA and norovirus, which causes sickness and diarrhoea, are easily transferrable and all hospitals have tough infection control measures in place to keep cases low.
This includes deep cleaning of wards, encouraging people to use hand gels when coming in and out of wards and asking them not to visit the hospital if they have recently had norovirus symptoms.