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Improving drug safety

01 March 2011

Professor Hall was named Welsh Woman of the Year in 2008Professor Hall was named Welsh Woman of the Year in 2008

Errors when injecting drugs into patients could be eradicated thanks to a pioneering University invention.

Professor Judith Hall, Head of Anaesthetics, Intensive care and Pain medicine, School of Medicine, has developed the Hall Lock systema colour-coded piece of plastic which prevents healthcare staff from mistakenly injecting drugs and other substances into the wrong part of the body.

Professor Hall said: "One reason for drug errors in medicine is that humans make mistakes and wrong route administration is a recurrent cause of drug errors.

"This can be avoided by the use of connectors that simply make it impossible for drugs meant for one injection route to be given via another route.

"We needed to stop all these wrong-route injections so I invented a series of connectors that will not fit with any other connector. There’s one shape for intravenous injections and then another different shape for nasogastric tubes, for spinal injection and so on."

The Hall Lock system is expected to go on sale this month but it is already being used in the Czech Republic.

It is also on sale in the Gulf states and in China.

Professor Hall added: "These are really just little plastic bits, which connect to a series of other plastic bits so they should cost less than pennies but they should save lives."

The innovation has also been praised by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation and Skills and will be officially unveiled at BioWales – Wales’ annual event showcasing the Welsh bioscience sector to an international, commercial and academic audience

Lesley Griffiths AM said: "I am delighted a number of companies based in Wales are launching some exciting products and devices at BioWales, several of which are the result of collaborative work with the NHS and academia and have benefited from the close local networks we have in Wales.

"These products and devices have the potential to improve the health and wellbeing of people as well as delivering economic benefits to Wales."