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Novel fit for purpose single use tourniquet: best of both worlds

Journal title
Journal of medical engineering & technology
Publication year
Kerstein, R. L.; Fellowes, C.

INTRODUCTION: Healthcare associated infections (HAI), such as Meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C. Diff) are estimated to cost the NHS pound1 billion and contribute to 5000 deaths/year in the UK. To date the main emphasis to reduce HAIs has been on hand hygiene. However environmental microbial load and compliance limits the efficacy of hand washing alone. Cultures from tourniquets have demonstrated contamination by pathogens including MRSA. Consequently, many UK trusts are introducing disposable tourniquets as policy. The use of most disposable tourniquets is still limited, as few are able to maintain patient comfort, ease of use and cost effectiveness. This study compares patient and phlebotomist experiences of the single-use tourniquet, Tournistrip, with currently available disposable and re-usable alternatives. METHODS: The trial was performed in on patients attending two West London teaching hospital outpatient phlebotomy departments, over a four week period. After Tournistrip use, the patients were invited to fill in an anonymous questionnaire, covering comfort and appearance. A separate questionnaire was filled in by the phlebotomists. RESULTS: Ninety five percent of patients found the Tournistrip professional looking, with 54% preferring it to the current re-usable alternatives. One hundred and seventy eight of the 227 patients found Tournistrip comfortable. Overall, 85% of patients found Tournistrip at least as good, if not better than re-usable tourniquets. All of the phlebotomists found the Tournistrip professional looking, and none preferred previously used disposable alternatives. Ninety-five percent found it as easy to use as a re-usable and none found previous disposables better to use. DISCUSSION: The Tournistrip was designed to match the comfort and ease of use of the re-usable tourniquet, whilst maintaining cost efficacy. This clinical trial shows the Tournistrip is viewed as a superior tourniquet to the current generation of disposables and a viable replacement to the re-usable tourniquet in the continuing challenge to reduce HAIs.

Research abstracts