Newtons Medical News – March 2021

In the news this month:

News in Profile – the invention that underpins the world’s Covid vaccination drive.

Covid 19 News – MHRA Yellow Card reporting and the ‘new’ working environment

NHS News – Sad farewell to an NHS hero.

Medical Technology – ‘Stepping’ out in Norfolk

Newtons News – Covid 19 shop special offer

News In Profile

The Invention Underpinning the World’s Covid Vaccination Drive

As medical teams across the globe administer Covid 19 vaccinations, there is one invention that has made it all possible – the hypodermic syringe.

modern hypodermic needle

Ancient versions were somewhat crude, consisting of animal bladders and quills, and used mainly for irrigation purposes and enemas. By the mid 1600’s the design had changed little but Sir Christopher Wren (yes, the St Paul’s Cathedral architect) experimented with the idea of using the device for intravenous injection, injecting dogs with different substances.

Fast forward to the late 18th Century when Edward Jenner invented the world’s first vaccine and there was still no effective method of administering drugs into a human body – his smallpox vaccine was introduced through a small cut in the body. In 1844, Francis Rynd, an Irish surgeon invented the hollow needle but it took another 10 years for that to evolve into something we would recognise today. In 1853, Scottish physician Alexander Wood developed the first all glass syringe with plunger, allowing doctors to observe the dosage through the glass and inject it with one hand.

an engraving of Edward Jenner (1749-1823)

This method of subcutaneous injection was embraced by medical practitioners in the UK and although the materials are now less fragile and more disposable, today’s hypodermic needle has changed little from Wood’s 1853 design. And as we all take our turn receiving our Covid vaccinations, we can thank Alexander Wood that it is a relatively quick and painless procedure.

There are some great images of the early syringe design in this article on the BBC website.

Covid 19 News

Yellow Card Reporting

As more and more of us are receiving our first, or in some cases our second, Covid vaccination, a picture of the possible side effects is starting to emerge. Of course, it is completely normal to have mild side-effects after receiving a vaccine, such as tenderness or redness at the injection site, a headache, joint pain, tiredness or nausea and this should not put off anyone having the vaccination. But did you know that the Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency – MHRA – operates a Yellow Card reporting site where you can report suspected side effects of the Covid 19 vaccine? The Yellow Card scheme is run by the MHRA and relies on voluntary reporting of suspected side effects involving medicines and medical devices to be reported by healthcare professionals and the public. Reporting helps others.

The ‘New’ Working Environment

As the government announces it’s road map out of lockdown many businesses will be thinking about how to encourage staff to leave the relative safety of remote working and virtual meetings and return to the more traditional office environment.

employees working in an office wearing face coverings

This may mean a rethink on the office layout, creating more distance between workstations, or if space does not allow, the addition of perspex screens between desks. Implementing a one-way system around the office using signs and screens and the introduction of hand sanitiser dispensers along the route could also help, along with an appointment only system for visitors to restrict the number of people in the office at any one time. Visual reminders to stay a safe distance of 6 feet apart are also a good idea; it is easy to forget these things once you are engaged in working as a team.

washable face mask with breathing filter

Focusing on the individual, supplying employees with their own comfortable and washable face mask, and making sure they have a personal supply of hand sanitiser and surface sanitising wipes should help them feel safer and valued.

NHS News

Farewell Captain Sir Tom Moore

Last month saw the sad passing of Captain Sir Tom Moore, the 100 year old who raised almost £33 million for NHS Charities Together during the first lockdown in 2020 by walking 100 lengths of his garden.

The NHS hero passed away on 2 February 2021 in Bedford Hospital and his funeral took place on 27th February. In line with current Covid restrictions the service was attended by only eight people, his two daughters, Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira, his sons-in-law and his four grandchildren, but the funeral was broadcast to the nation.

Six soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment carried the coffin, which was draped in a Union flag, a firing party fired three volleys and a WW2 plane conducted a flypast to honour the Army veteran.

The ceremony opened with You’ll Never Walk Alone, the chart-topping charity single Moore recorded with Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care Choir which made him the oldest person to achieve a UK number one. Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime hit White Cliffs of Dover was played during the service, as well as Smile, specially recorded by Michael Bublé for the occasion and, as per Moore’s own request, My Way by Frank Sinatra.

His daughter Lucy said “Daddy, I am so proud of you, but your message and your spirit lives on”. She went on to say “You always told us to put your best foot forward and that’s what you did last year”.

Hannah described her father as a “beacon of light and hope to the world”.

Members of the public were asked in advance to stay at home during the funeral to respect the NHS but thousands signed an online book of condolence.

Medical Technology

3D Technology ‘Steps’ Out in Norfolk.

patient’s foot and orthotic insole

A Norfolk company has become the first UK company to launch an in-house 3D printer to manufacture medical orthotic insoles. Medical Plastic News reports that Norwich based BXClinic is pioneering the first clinical trials across the UK. The insoles are designed to improve the health and quality of life for those suffering from back and lower limb pain and injury with the ultimate goal being to help patients walk and run pain-free while providing cushioning and support.

Although 3D printing technology has been around for some time now, the lack of suitable printable materials had previously prohibited this new advance. Now BXClinic believes they have found the right polymers to produce a prescription insole which can be both soft and hard, doesn’t absorb moisture and takes up less space in a shoe. The technology will allow for local manufacturing, significantly reducing the carbon footprint compared to the current international supply chain, and the manufacturing process reduces waste materials.

Newtons News

Covid 19 Shop

We have a great range of products available in our COVID-19 Shop.

Our Clinell Universal Wipes (200) are ideal for surface disinfection and non-invasive medical devices. Proven 99.999% Kill rate, effective against MRSA, Acinetobacter, VRE, TB, Norovirus, Hepatitis B & C, Coronavirus and many more.

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Shop online today for more great products at fantastic prices!

All of our products are easy to order and can be bought online from the medical consumables section of our shop where you will also find our full range of hygiene related products.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about our product or stock.