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Spire surgeon takes on superbugs

An invention by a private hospital consultant surgeon could help to tackle hospital superbugs in the UK.

John Hardy, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Spire Bristol Hospital, has invented the Clinicon Lavage Tray - an inflatable and disposable plastic tray that retains any spilt blood or body fluids while patients are being moved.

This reduces the risk of infection from a range of pathogens, including MRSA, HIV, and Hepatitis B and C.

The device costs just £12 and could also reduce the cost of laundry bills and improve turnaround times in operating theatres.

It is now being used in Spire Healthcare private hospitals and Mr Hardy described the product as a "key step" in reducing cross-infections.

"For years there's been a known risk of infecting patients and staff through soaked surgical drapes," he explained.

"It's suitable for all forms of surgery but is likely to be particularly popular in NHS Trauma units where operations routinely last for three hours or more and the risk of contamination is therefore greatest."

Dr Jean-Jacques de Gorter, director of clinical services for Spire Healthcare, agreed that the invention is an important step in reducing rates of cross-infection in the group's network of private hospitals.

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