One of the many R&D projects that MWDesign are involved with, is the Pepi Splint. The Pepi Splint came about when Waikato Hospital NICU approached MWDesign after a traumatic event occurred with a premature baby. Most babies who are admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit require a peripheral intravenous catheter (PIVC) with many babies requiring multiple drips.
This is secured to the baby’s limb using splints and adhesive dressings. However, removing the adhesive dressing (Elastoplast) tears and removes up to 80% of the fragile neonatal skin, increasing the risk of infection and possibly lasting skin damage. In an estimated 1 – 5 cases [New Zealand] a year, accidental digit amputation occurs.
The Pepi Splint is the outcome of intensive research, design, development and clinical trials to prevent these skin injuries and accidental amputation in premature babies.
The Pepi Splint is designed to allow for simple application and removal of the splint while providing rigid limb isolation. It provides a gentle touch to the skin without causing irritation to delicate skin, yet has a firm grip on the skin to prevent movement of the splint. It secures the PIVC without direct adhesive contact to the baby’s skin.
The Pepi Splint is reusable, ambidextrous in both hands and feet, can be sterilized in an autoclave, reducing unnecessary waste. It can be trimmed to suit the baby’s needs and completely eliminates tape-to-skin contact.
The Pepi Splint comes in 3 sizes and is on the surface, a simple object. The silicone used is a soft shore A 10 with a platinum base. The silicone over-moulds a fabric mesh to retard tearing and stop the wrapping arms becoming a tourniquet. There is an aluminium member to assist with bending and shape forming, also over-moulded. This means there are no exposed edges to harm the baby and it can be autoclave to or washed for reuse. (Providing it has not been cut/trimmed.) The over-moulded mesh allows for the nurse to trim the wrapping arms to clear a wound or PIVC site without the silicone tearing.
There is a clinical trial underway in Wellington Hospital NICU. With positive results from the trial, MWDesign is looking to raise funding for IP, production tooling and marketing for the Pepi Splint in both NZ and around the world.
With 4500 premature babies born and 86,580 PIVC splints used annually in New Zealand, we see a huge potential for the Pepi Splint to improve the lives of babies in the future, as well as reduce stress on parents and hospital staff. The Pepi Splint has just won a Gold at the Best Design Awards 2020.
For more information, or to register your interest as an investor or clinical trial site, visit Pepi Splint.