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Improving patient safety

25 June 2012

Hall Lock system
The patented Hall Lock system, developed by Professor Judith Hall and produced by Flexicare Medical Ltd prevents wrong route injections for patients.

A novel interlocking shape-coded system developed by a Cardiff academic that helps prevent the mis-administration of drugs in hospital has been recognised for its innovation and impact.

The patented Hall Lock system, developed by Professor Judith Hall of the School of Medicine's Infection and Immunity Institute and produced by Flexicare Medical Ltd, won the Innovation in Healthcare Award in Cardiff University's annual Innovation and Impact Awards.

The system uses shape- and colour-coded interlocking fluid couplings which can only link with the correct fitting, rather than the common locking mechanism currently in use. It aims to prevent wrong route injections for patients, which although rare, can be extremely serious.

Speaking about the product, Professor Hall said: "One reason for drug errors in medicine is that humans make mistakes and wrong route administration is a recurrent cause of drug errors. This can be avoided by the use of connectors that simply make it impossible for drugs meant for one injection route to be given via another route.

"I invented a series of connectors that will not fit with any other connector. There's one shape for intravenous injections and another different shape for nasogastric tubes, for spinal injection and so on. For such an innovate product there is no additional cost to the end user. I'm delighted that our work has been recognised in the Cardiff University Innovation and Impact Awards."

The Hall Lock system covers four areas of injection- spinal, nasogastric, arterial and venous – and was developed and produced by South Wales-based company Flexicare, fast becoming one of Europe's leading medical device manufacturers.

It is the only system with a full range of needles, syringes, manometers and tamper evident caps meeting the needs of the anaesthetic and pharmaceutical markets. The Hall Lock has been unveiled at national and international anaesthesia congresses, which has created demand across Europe, the Middle East and North and South America.

Thomas Jenkins from Flexicare said: "The Hall Lock system has come to the market in just three years and supported by Flexicare's research and development and our relationship with the University and local hospitals. It's an incredibly simple and intuitive system but the impact will be phenomenal around the world."

The award was presented to Professor Hall and Hash Poormand from Flexicare by Jeff Pearson from Geldards LLP, one of the sponsors of the 2012 Innovation and Impact Awards.

The Awards are an opportunity for Cardiff University academic staff to showcase their innovative collaborations with business and other non-academic organisations, demonstrating the positive impact that academic research can have on economy and society.

The 2012 Innovation and Impact Awards were attended by David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, and Welsh Secretary of State Cheryl Gillan MP, along with leading figures from industry and academia. The awards were sponsored by Geldards Law Firm and Fusion IP.

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