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Reducing HCAIs with single use tourniquet

Monday 10 May 2010

  • First product introduced through Innovation Scorecard process
  • Reusable alternatives were found to be soiled with harmful bacteria in clinical study
  • 40 million procedures per year could benefit

NHS Supply Chain has introduced an innovative disposable tourniquet called Tournistrip to combat the risk of healthcare acquired infections (HCAIs).

Single-use products are being used to reduce the risk of healthcare associated infections (HCAIs), but for one clinical area – phlebotomy - this is a problem which led to the development of a new product, a single-use tourniquet.

Dr Ryan Kerstein, co-founder of Asep Healthcare said, “Reusable tourniquets (the strap used around a patient’s arm in blood taking) are used for around 40 million procedures each year in the NHS, and we found from our own investigations that a considerable amount of harmful bacteria was growing on them.

“If Tournistrip was adopted by the NHS, it could reduce the risk of infections from soiled reusable tourniquets as some had been in circulation between two and 104 weeks, and used up to 11 times a day. That’s why we developed, Tournistrip as a viable alternative.”

“Existing disposables are not widely used due to their price and lack of patient comfort forcing some healthcare professionals to use rubber gloves to combat costs.”

Dr. Kerstein continues, “Tournistrip is made from plasticised paper and manufactured to look truly disposable. The flexibility of the material means that it is comfortable for the patient, and its adhesive fastening strip means that it can be applied with minimal effort.

“It has two built-in features to ensure it can only be used once. The ‘’peel here’’ strip once removed cannot easily be reapplied, and the plasticised paper has been engineered to deform after use.

“For ease of use it offers single handed removal and was designed to match the comfort and simplicity of reusable tourniquets while maintaining cost efficiency.”

A recent clinical study by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital showed that both healthcare professionals and patients preferred Tournistrip over other tourniquets currently available.

72 per cent of patients found Tournistrip comfortable during use, and 94 per cent of phlebotomists found it easier to use than standard reusable tourniquets. When comparing it to current disposable alternatives on the market all phlebotomists surveyed preferred Tournistrip.

“The study shows that it is valued above the current generation of disposables and seen as a viable replacement to current reusables,” said Dr Christian Fellowes co-founder of Asep Healthcare. “As well as the clinical study, Tournistrip has also been evaluated in several NHS trusts and identified as the disposable of choice.”

Tournistrip was introduced through NHS Supply Chain’s Innovation Scorecard process that aims to fast-track innovative products into the NHS.

Emma Tandy, Task Force Manager, said, “Tournistrip is a truly innovative product that will ultimately help cut the risk of infections. We look forward to working with Asep Healthcare and value their hard work that has gone into developing it.”


Photographs of the product are available (stock product shots and of it in use).

Notes to editors
For more information please contact:
Andrew Brentnall on 01773 724196 or at

About NHS Supply Chain
NHS Supply Chain is a government contract operated by DHL since 2006. It supports the National Health Service (NHS) and other healthcare organisations in England and Wales by providing end to end supply chain solutions.

The organisation was formed from the NHS Logistics Authority and parts of the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA). It is operated by DHL on behalf of the NHS Business Services Authority and aims to provide over £1 billion of savings to the NHS by 2016.

The NHS Supply Chain contract manages the sourcing, delivery and supply of healthcare products and food for over 1,000 NHS trusts and healthcare organisations. It provides a single point of access to over 500,000 products ranging from bandages to sutures, from gloves to implants, and even diagnostic equipment such as MRI scanners.

Its management of the procurement process negates an NHS organisation’s need to tender through the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). Costs can also be reduced through its one-route solution that consolidates all products onto one invoice and delivery – this saves up to £1 per product in back office administration costs and removes up to 60 deliveries going into a trust compared with ordering goods separately.

To ensure that its products are fit for today’s healthcare market, NHS Supply Chain works with suppliers of all sizes to ensure its range embraces high quality and innovative products; and engages with clinicians, the Department of Health and academic institutions to make sure that it is aware of the current requirements and latest developments in clinical practice.
NHS Supply Chain’s product areas include:

  • theatres
  • dental
  • audiology
  • catering, including food
  • infection control
  • orthopaedics
  • rehabilitation
  • capital equipment, including finance and maintenance

Based in Alfreton, Derbyshire, UK, the business employs around 2,400 staff in eight locations.

About Asep Healthcare
ASep Healthcare is a spin-out company from Imperial Innovations LLP, founded by Farooq Hussain, Ryan Kerstein and Christian Fellowes.

The team brings together a unique blend of commercial, medical and marketing experience. Farooq Hussain and Alan Edwards (Chairman) together have 45+ years healthcare industry experience. Ryan and Christian, both doctors, invented Tournistrip as a direct result of an unmet clinical need and Imperial Innovations has a strong track record of backing successful companies.  

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