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Image courtesy: Uvamed Limited

Sometimes a new product is launched, that is so clever yet so simple that we think, “why hasn’t that been done before?” Uvamed’s Rainbow TraysTM are exactly that. Rainbow TraysTM are colour-coded anaesthetic syringe trays for use in operating theatres for safe transportation, delivery and administration of anaesthetic drugs.

The trays provide a secure, clean and systematic carrier for drawn up syringes to support the anaesthetist and reduce avoidable misadministration of drugs whilst tackling the issues of infection control to deliver best practice for clinical governance.

Healthcare Arena caught up with Bev Fawdington to find out about the concept and development of these innovative devices, she began: “This was an idea that originated from anaesthetists and a hospital pharmacist who were looking at ways to reduce the misadministration of anaesthetic drugs, for example choosing the wrong drugs from the tray with potentially disastrous consequences”.

Anaesthetists need to administer routine and emergency drugs in stressful environments and this can lead to mistakes. The Rainbow TraysTM were developed to avoid such lapses and address the very real issues experienced by anaesthetists. Rainbow TraysTM support the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) and The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) colour coded labelling system to reinforce the visual recognition of the required drug and provide for effective infection control by way of a single-use disposable inner tray. Specific trays for local and emergency anaesthetics can be drawn, stored and stacked separately to prevent inadvertent use.

Rainbow Trays TM are currently being trialled across the midlands and south of England. Expanding on this, Bev said, “Some initial hospital AAGBI-funded trials are ongoing in Nottingham, Peterborough and Boston hospitals led by Dr Iain Moppet. Prof Tom Clutton-Brock is also conducting trials in Birmingham. There are also working trials in Bath and Bristol University hospitals with Prof Jerry Nolan and Dr Jas Soar. Also UCLH have received samples for evaluation,”

She added: “Throughout its design and development Rainbow TraysTM have been subject to testing by anaesthetists who helped develop it by using it regularly in normal daily routine procedures as it developed into the system we have today. Every change to the design was implemented because it was needed, as the trays were used on a daily basis.”

Image courtesy: Uvamed Limited
Image courtesy: Uvamed Limited

Initial responses to Rainbow Trays TM indicate that it fulfils a hitherto unmet need: “We don’t even need to explain how to use the product to anaesthetists – they get it straight away; I think that one of the reasons that it hadn’t yet been created is because the need has been generated within anaesthesia, so it has required quite a bit of commercial drive to create it. You need to raise the investment to develop it at each stage and you’ve got to have many prototypes made to test it is fit for purpose”

Uvamed collaborated with anaesthetists and hospital pharmacists in order to make Rainbow Trays TM work, together with input from other healthcare practitioners. Bev added: “We even had help from an optometrist advising on how to arrange the colours, lest colour blindness was an issue, it’s just about putting all these ideas together- and that’s what Uvamed has been able to bring to it.”

Bev went on to describe the makeup of Rainbow Trays TM and the challenges involved with making them “It’s all made from the same material –PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate), which was chosen for a number of reasons. PET is an inert substrate, bacteria won’t naturally grow on it, it’s easy to mould and also fully recyclable. The top layer is intended for single use and the bottom can be wiped with an antibacterial wipe or can be immersed in Ethylene Oxide if sterilisation is needed. Because we had to put the colours into the base tray, finding a material that could accommodate that with thermal shaping that could be joined by welding was fundamental for keeping the colour section protected and watertight. Welding PET securely and cleanly was challenging, new and innovative.”

Adding: “We did look at using PVC, as welding PVC is much easier, however there are many EU countries that will not allow PVC in medical care products (for example, Germany) therefore limiting the market, also these changes may well be applied in the UK in the future so we aimed to get it right first time.”

With regard to the concept, this innovative product is at risk of duplication so Uvamed has gone to great lengths to protect its design and creation with a robust IP platform of patents and trademarks in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, China & Australia.

Rainbow Trays™ comprehensively address the patient safety and efficiency issues recently raised by NHS England. Pending the results of the current trials, we hope to see Rainbow Trays continue to support patient safety nationally and internationally.

UVAMED: Uvamed Limited is a British company dedicated to delivering healthcare innovations specifically driven by a need to improve standards, working conditions and patient safety. Our criterion is to address clinical needs and concerns and, through innovation, create products that healthcare professionals actually want and need.

Rainbow Trays will be marketed in the UK by Pentland Medical Ltd in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England and by Qualitech in the rest of the UK.

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