Staff trial portable scanner that detects early tissue damage

The SEM Scanner is a hand-held device that can sense invisible inflammation – so might help nurses prevent pressure ulcers

A hospital trust in Yorkshire is trialling a hand-held scanner that spots early signs of tissue damage, in a bid to cut the number of pressure ulcers.

Staff at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are using the SEM Scanner, which can detect damage up to ten days before it becomes visible to the naked eye. The scanner is placed on tissue where damage is most likely to occur, for example on the heels, buttocks, elbows and shoulders, and its sensors measure levels of inflammation.

Tracy Vernon, the trust's lead tissue viability nurse, said the scanner is being trialled on two wards. 'We hope these scanners will provide us with another way of shielding vulnerable patients from the unnecessary pain that pressure ulcers can cause. Trying new technologies complements our pressure ulcer reduction strategy,' she added.


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