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Current clinical projects



Study Title: Laboratory observational Ex-Vivo study to investigate the sensitivity and specificity of a smart dressing to detect clinically relevant wound infection.

This study focusses on identifying infection in burn wounds. As the skin's protective barrier is lost following a burn injury, it is vulnerable to infection. This is one of our key research priorities.

Burn wound infections can be difficult to diagnose in children, as the symptoms such as fever, vomiting and rash are shared with other common childhood illnesses. Children with burn wound infection can become seriously ill if treatment with antibiotics is not started quickly.

On the other hand, if children have symptoms such as fever or a rash this could be due to another cause such as a cold virus, teething etc which do not need to be treated with antibiotics.                                                                                                  

The Centre is working with the University of Bath to develop and test their new dressing prototype.

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From 2016-2018 we collected samples from used burn dressings to test the Smartwound™ dressing's response in the laboratory. The aim was to find out if the dressing correctly identified the patients with infection by changing colour and stayed 'turned off' for those without infection.

We are currently in the data processing phase.

The next phase aims to test the prototype Smartwound™ dressing on healthy volunteers who have suffered a burn injury and are requiring dressings for healing.

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Scientists explore alternative to antibiotics

Colour-changing burns dressing will help fight against antibiotic resistance



Study Title: Core Outcome Sets for Burn Care Research.

There are different ways to treat patients after a burn injury. Doctors need to test whether new treatments are better than older treatments. To do this we need to measure how well patients recover with different care. People with burns have different experiences during their recovery. This could include issues such as the side effects of treatment including scarring, pain or itching or quality of life. Currently researchers are using different endpoints of recovery to assess new treatments. The aim of the study is to find out which recovery issues or outcomes are most important to patients. The results of this study will enable a Core Set of Outcomes to be identified and agreed. These will then be reported consistently in all future burn research studies.

Patients are sent two questionnaires by post or email following their burn injury, and asked to rate how important each issue or outcome is. If there are any issues not covered by the questionnaire, patients are asked to add comments. After the questionnaires have been analysed, patients are also invited to a group meeting along with NHS staff to discuss the final core set of outcomes.

This research is being funded by the National Institute for Health Research, led by Dr Amber Young and run by the University of Bristol.

Twitter: @COSBresearch Email: