Injections into the eye (Intravitreal) are now widely performed for a variety of eye conditions including sight threatening macular degeneration.
Around 8000 injections are performed at Derriford Hospitals every year and around 4500 at Torbay, with some patients being injected up to nine times a year. Worldwide, over six million injections are performed annually.
Patients are often apprehensive about the procedure, which would usually include being covered by a surgical drape and injected under local anaesthetic. Designed by Plymouth Consultant Ophthalmologist, Mr Salman Waqar in collaboration with the Trusts, the new Guide is a medical device which consists of a curved, triangular base plate which follows the natural contour of the eye and three studs at each corner which ensure stabilization. The cylindrical chamber adjacent to the lash guard allows the injection to be delivered at the precise location and depth of the eye, avoiding the risk of retinal damage.
The device has been developed to simplify the injection process for healthcare professionals, particularly for nurses and allied healthcare professionals. The guide eliminates the need for a surgical drape, resulting in a more comfortable experience for patients. The new device has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both Nurse Practitioners and patients.
Some patients have asked for their injections to always be delivered by this method and others have commented that it is fantastic not having to cover their face with a drape.
Alison Triggol, Macula Lead Nurse at the Royal Eye Infirmary (REI), said: “This is a fantastic device. Patients prefer not having a drape or speculum applied, and cannot believe the injection is over before they know it. In my experience it stabilises the eye very well, making it extremely useful in difficult cases too.”
Mr Waqar designed the device in collaboration with the Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation and Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trusts under the South West Peninsula NHS Innovation Pathway. The pathway is intended to support staff to develop their ideas.
One of the key objectives for the NHS is to accelerate the adoption of innovation into practice, which will inevitably improve patient care. Dr Phil Hughes, Medical Director of Plymouth Hospitals said: “The Trust was delighted to be involved in such an innovative project which will result in great benefit of thousands of patients.”
Director of Strategy and Innovation at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation trust, Ann Wagner, said “We are delighted to have been involved with the development of this device. This project is a perfect example of how we are working in partnership across Devon to make a real difference for our patients and service users.”
Their commercial partners in this venture, Malosa Medical™ part of Beaver Visitec International Ltd have facilitated the manufacture, launch and distribution of the guide.