A soft silicone splint to protect premature babies from losing skin from medical tape.
New born and premature babies often require intensive medical care which can encompass delivery of medicaments and fluids intravenously.
Veins often collapse, requiring the cannula to be changed (every 24 - 72 hrs). The tape that holds the tubing on will often remove up to 75% of the skin, de-laminating the skin exposing the baby to infection.
In extreme cases fingers and toes have been known to be amputated during tape removal >5/year in New Zealand.
We collaborated with nursing staff, family, iwi and clinical specialists throughout the development, often trying the device on ourselves before testing in NICU.
New mums (and dads) despair watching the procedure as their child screams with pain at the skin injury despite the nursing staff's best efforts to remove the tape, then reapply to another arm or leg.
Pepi Splint is a soft and flexible silicone splint that allows the nurses to wrap the tape over the silicone tabs instead of directly onto the baby. The splint can be used for both left and right arms and feet. With a thin aluminium splint encased in the silicone, the splint can be bent into the appropriate angle needed for the baby. The splints come in three sizes for varying weights of premature babies and tab length can be trimmed to suit.
The Pepi Splint is currently in clinical trials at Waikato Hospital NICU unit with 0 skin injury's, 0 near misses with 100 % relieved parents. See more in the video below!