Are inco pads increasing operating theatre costs and waste?

Hospitals that are concerned about operating theatre costs sometimes use inco pads or incontinence pads to absorb spills on operating theatre floors.

These pads do not offer a particularly high level of absorbency and are prone to dripping when lifted for disposal.

However, they are sometimes seen as a much more cost-effective alternative to absorbent mats that are specifically designed for this purpose.

So, we thought that we would take a look at our superabsorbent T-Mat, to see how it compares like for like with a standard inco pad that is currently on the market.


Busting the myth of cheaper inco pads

We took one of our T-Mats, which measures 72cm x 36cm and absorbs up to 8.5 litres of fluid and compared it with an inco pad of a similar size – 75cm x 57cm -which absorbs 0.67 litres of fluid.

In terms of per-mat cost, the inco pad is the clear winner, with a single T-Mat costing six times more than a single inco pad.

However, you would need to use around 13 inco pads to get a similar level of fluid collection as a single T-Mat.

This means that you would have to spend more than twice the amount on inco pads as you would on T-Mats to get the same amount of fluid absorbency on your operating theatre floor.


Reducing theatre consumable waste

The NHS Carbon Footprint Plus includes a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from supplier products, as outlined in Scope 3 of The Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

So as the NHS moves towards Net Zero, the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated from the manufacturing, shipping and disposal of theatre consumables becomes more pressing.

Consuming 13 times as many absorbent pads by choosing inco pads over a superabsorbent mat such as the T-Mat will clearly lead to a much larger carbon footprint, which now goes against the ethos and objectives of NHS environmental policy.


Other drawbacks of inco pad use

As well as costing you more overall, the use of inco pads in hospital operating theatres can also create particular risks.

Unlike our superabsorbent T-Mat, they are not able to lock in fluid and turn it to gel for easy non-drip disposal.

A dripping inco pad being lifted up for disposal in clinical waste not only risks cross-contamination but also creates slip hazards in the operating theatre.

What’s more, there is greater likelihood of drips and pools of fluid on the theatre floor after the operation, slowing down theatre turnaround time whilst the floor is being mopped and dried.


Trial it for yourself to see a reduction in operating theatre costs

If you are currently using inco pads in your operating theatres and would like to trial the T-Mats to see how they compare, you can get some free samples and see the results for yourself.

Just email the product sales team at Cairn Technology at or call us on 0333 015 4345.

For other ways that we can help reduce your operating theatre costs with reusable surgical instruments click here.

Hospital Slips, Trips and Falls Prevention and Management Policy: The role of effective fluid management

Having an effective Slips, Trips and Falls Prevention and Management Policy is important for any hospital.

Every year, over 2000 of these incidents are reported nationally by the NHS to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

This is perhaps not surprising given that slips, trips and falls are the most common cause of serious injuries in the UK workplace.

The most recent Health and Safety at Work report revealed that in 2022-23, 32% of reported cases of non-fatal workplace injuries were made up of slips, trips and falls on the same level, which is the equivalent of 179,520 people.(1)

What’s more, the HSE estimates that 95% of all slips, trips and falls on the same level at work are serious incidents that result in broken bones.(2)

The Impact of Healthcare Worker Injuries

When a member of the operating theatre team or other hospital staff are seriously injured from a slip, trip or fall, there can be a number of negative consequences:

  • The employee can be left with injuries that leave them unable to do their job for a period of time or even permanently,
  • They may have to claim compensation for the impact that their injury has had on them,
  • As an important member of staff, the hospital will lose their skills and expertise and have to try and find a temporary or permanent replacement,
  • Short-staffing problems can then lead to additional stress on other team members and hamper department efficiency,
  • If the injury is caused in theatres, the patient’s operation may have to be cancelled and rearranged, negatively impacting on patient care and increasing theatre costs.

Creating a safe working environment

The solution is to create a safe workplace by identifying all potential slip, trip and fall hazards, then assessing and managing those risks.

By creating an effective Slips, Trips and Falls Prevention and Management Policy that encompasses pro-active management, good housekeeping and relevant staff training, hospitals can see a significant reduction in these kinds of accidents.

Not only is this a healthy policy to adopt for hospital staff, NHS Trusts and private hospitals are also required by the Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations 1992 to have suitable floors that are in good condition and free from obstructions.

In busy operating theatres this can be a particular challenge, as there tends to be quite a lot of people moving about in a restricted area where pools of irrigation and bodily fluids have spilled on the floor.

However, there are ways that you can avoid slips from spills and minimise the risk of trips and falls caused by the products designed to remove them.

 6 tips to avoid slips, trips and falls in the operating theatre

  1. Avoid suction devices that move about the room

Some fluid management solutions remove spills from the theatre floor by moving over spills and sucking them up. Whilst that can be fine if they remain in the same place, if they get moved around the theatre floor, team members may not be looking out for them, so some nasty trips and falls can happen.

  1. Avoid suction devices with tubes and cables

Some spill management solutions for operating theatres come with lots of tubes and cables that run across the operating theatre floor. Even if taped down, these can come loose and risk tripping up theatre staff, so if possible try to find a solution that does not involve these sort of hazards.

  1. Choose a low-profile absorbent floor mat

An absorbent floor mat, such as the DryMax XL has a low profile, minimising the risk of trips, whilst still providing up to 2 litres of fluid absorption. Particularly suitable for scrub rooms, it provides a good level of absorbency to capture any spills while staff are scrubbing up. This in turn reduces the risk of slips when working in the scrub room area. Click here to find out more.

  1. Choose an anti-skid mat

Make sure that any walkable absorbent mats you use in your scrub rooms and operating theatres are anti-skid and non-slip.

For example the DryMax XL floor mat and the DryMax Combimat both have blue-backed sections that are anti-skid when placed on a dry surface.

The DryMax Combimat is specially designed to absorb large volumes of fluid in one section: up to 13 litres of water or 5 litres of saline. This section can be folded over the surgeon’s feet in wet procedures and turns all fluid to gel to ensure their feet stay dry.

At the same time, the low-profile anti-skid section can be walked on or have a stool placed on it, without any risk of slipping. To find out more about the DryMax Combimat, click here.

  1. Choose a superabsorbent mat

If you are involved with wet procedures that involve a lot of fluid spills, such as knee arthroscopies, then choose a superabsorbent mat that rapidly turns fluid to gel to lock it in.

Not only will this reduce the risk of slips in the operating theatre, it will also mean there will be hardly any mopping to do post-procedure, ensuring quicker turnaround time too. What’s more, there will be less risk of drips and cross-infection when transferring the mats to clinical waste.

As a superabsorbent mat, such as the T-Mat, can absorb up to 8.5 litres of water, this does mean that the mat will bulk up, so you would need to place it away from where the surgeon is standing. However, even if placed adjacent to the spill, the T-Mat will suck up the puddle through capillary action, so placement of the mat can be flexible. To find out more about the T-Mat click here.

  1. Remember Good Housekeeping

If spills do occur that cannot be absorbed or sucked up from the operating theatre floor or scrub room, ensure that they are mopped and dried carefully to avoid the risk of slips and falls. Tidy away any trip hazards and be sure to follow your Slips, Trips and Falls Prevention and Management Policy at all times.

Interested in free mat samples?

If you would like to try any of the absorbent floor mats mentioned above just call 0333 015 4345 or email us at and we will happily send some samples out for your hospital to trial.


(1) Health and safety statistics 2022 (
(2) Why does it matter – Slips and trips – HSE

Top 4 Considerations When Choosing an Absorbent Mat for Your Hospital

Absorbent mats are vital for effective fluid management in hospitals. They can absorb and contain significant quantities of fluids during procedures, which can help prevent slips, trips, and falls. Plus, after procedures you can simply dispose of the mat in the appropriate waste stream. This can help prevent cross infection while making cleaning much easier, so you can significantly reduce your turnaround time between procedures.

But not all absorbent mats are quite the same. It’s important that you pick one that’s suitable for your needs. In this post, we’ll explore four key considerations for choosing the right absorbent mats for your hospital.

If you’d like to discuss your fluid management needs, our friendly experts are always on hand to help. Give us a call on 0333 015 4345 or email

What Level of Absorbency Do You Need?

Different mats offer different levels of absorbency. The level of absorbency you need will largely depend on the sort of procedures you’ll be carrying out. A procedure such as a  shoulder arthroscopy for example, will produce a lot of fluid, so you’ll need a mat with a high level of absorbency.

The level of absorbency you’ll need will also depend on where you intend to place the mat. If you want a mat to place on the operating theatre floor during wet procedures, it will need to be as absorbent as possible. But if you want to use a mat on a scrub room floor, then the level of absorbency will not need to be as high.

The Nature of the Procedure

Beyond your fluid management needs, think about your practical requirements during a procedure. For instance, do you just need a mat to capture fluids or will you also need to walk on it, or place a stool on it?

Or does the mat need to be placed next to the patient and therefore be sterile? Some absorbent mats are specifically designed for use in sterile environments.

Anti-Skid Absorbent Mats

If you’ll need to walk on the mat, or place a stool on it, then you’ll need your mat to be reliably anti-skid.

Look for mats with effective anti-skid backing. You could also consider a combination mat, which combines an anti-skid walkable section with a highly absorbent section, making it perfect for use in general and orthopaedic theatres. It’s a simple, single solution that gives you the best of both worlds.

How Disposable Medical Equipment Fit Into Your Environmental Policy?

Your hospital’s environmental policy might set strict guidelines about the use of disposable medical equipment, and the amount of waste you produce. The good news is that absorbent mats can play an active role in helping your hospital reduce its carbon footprint.

Go for a highly absorbent mat, for instance, and you can absorb up to 8.5 litres of water and 3.5 litres of saline with a single mat.

Or choose an absorbent mat in roll form and you can measure and cut accordingly, so that you only ever use as much or as little of the mat as you need.

We Can Help You Choose The Right Absorbent Mat For Your Needs

At Cairn Technology, we stock a full range of state-of-the-art absorbent mats for efficient and effective fluid management in hospitals.

If you’re not sure which mat is right for you, we’ll be happy to help. Get in touch, tell us about your fluid management requirements, and we can advise you on the best solution for your hospital.

Give us a call on 0333 015 4345 or email

The NHS Carbon Footprint Plus: 3 Ways absorbent mats can help

The NHS Carbon Footprint Plus includes a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from supplier products, as outlined in Scope 3 of The Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

According to NHS England’s 2022 report Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service, one of the greatest areas of opportunity for a reduction in carbon emissions is through medical device suppliers.

So how can absorbent floor mats from Cairn Technology help the NHS in this area?

  1. Reduced absorbent mat waste through absorbency

Medical equipment accounts for 10% of the NHS Carbon Footprint Plus (1). So it stands to reason that any product that results in less waste than other market alternatives can help drive down this percentage.

As our T-Mat superabsorbent floor mat absorbs between 4 and 13 times as much fluid as the incontinence sheets on the market, theatre staff have to dispose of far fewer mats into clinical waste at the end of each procedure.

You can find out more about our T-Mats here:

To make an enquiry please click here:

  1. Reduced absorbent mat waste through size

Another issue that theatre staff also face with absorbent floor mats is that they invariably have to use mats of a specific size.

With our DryMax XL absorbent mat for scrub rooms and theatre floors, staff can cut it to the size that they require. This is the case whether they buy boxes of the individual mats or the 50m roll with dispenser.

By cutting off only the size of mat required every time, theatres can see a significant reduction in the amount of mat waste throughout the year.

You can find out more about our DryMax XL mats here:

Or for the DryMax XL on a Roll click here:

Or to make an enquiry, please click here:

  1. An absorbent mat supplier committed to supporting NHS Net Zero targets

Cairn Technology is committed to helping the NHS meet or exceed its commitment on net zero emissions before the end of the decade.

With the biggest source of carbon emissions from medical equipment being in acute care, our absorbent mat products can have a real impact in this area.

Not only can our mats help to reduce waste within hospitals, as a supplier we are also looking to reduce our own carbon footprint in terms of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s Scope, 1, 2 and 3 emissions.

From minimising the amount of paper that we use in the office, to recycling our packaging where possible and encouraging the use of electric and hybrid vehicles, we are already on the path to a greener business model in support of our NHS.

 The NHS Carbon Footprint Plus

For more information on how our absorbent mats, surgical instruments and other products and services can help support the NHS Carbon Footprint Plus keep an eye on our blog.



Greenwashing in Healthcare – How to Take Effective Action

In recent years, growing numbers of healthcare providers have been accused of “greenwashing”.

In this post we’ll explore what greenwashing in healthcare is, and what it looks like. We’ll also explore some ways you can ensure your environmental performance delivers in practice, and not just on paper.

What is Greenwashing?

“Greenwashing” essentially means that there’s a disconnect between your environmental policies and your environmental practices. It means that you might describe your services and your operations as environmentally responsible and sustainable, when in reality your practices are not nearly as green as they seem.

Why Does Greenwashing Happen?

Greenwashing isn’t always intentional. Sometimes it can happen by accident, when managers overlook certain processes, or when staff members or service users do not properly follow certain procedures.

But increasingly, people want to know that the services they use are taking steps to address the environmental impact of their operations. So if you claim to be green, then you must ensure you deliver on your promises. Otherwise, you could be misleading the public. And in healthcare settings, overlooking the environmental impact of certain processes can also carry some health risks.

What Does Greenwashing Look Like in Healthcare?

Your healthcare setting might set an environmental policy, and you might make certain declarations, and set certain aims, in your internal documents and communications. You might also communicate your environmental goals to your staff and patients, via onsite posters, leaflets, brochures, and even press releases.

If your environmental impact does not meet the standards you set in these materials, then you might be accused of greenwashing.

Examples of Greenwashing in Healthcare

How Can Healthcare Take Effective Environmental Action?

The need for effective infection prevention and control can make going green particularly challenging for healthcare settings. For example, how can a hospital commit to reducing waste when the Standard Infection Control Precautions advise using single-use items as often as possible? How can a care home embrace recycling when PPE best practice often advises disposing of items immediately after use?

The answer – and it is by no means an easy one – is to review all of your operations, from start to finish, and look for any areas where you might make any improvements to your environmental performance. And you need to do this without compromising on your operational efficiency, or your infection prevention and control processes.

Once you have reviewed your processes and established some possible areas of improvement, you need to communicate these to all staff at all levels. Your staff will be accustomed to doing things in a certain way. They might need some additional training if they need to get used to a greener way to complete a certain process.

Case Study – The Green Theatre Checklist

For some examples of how healthcare teams can improve their environmental performance without compromising on care standards or safety, take a look at the Green Theatre Checklist. This is a set of guidelines for how operating theatre teams can address their carbon footprints and work towards sustainability in surgery.

It recommends actions for every stage of surgery, from anaesthetic care to postoperative. Guidelines include:

  • Sourcing materials as locally as possible, to cut down on carbon emissions during transit.
  • Using “greener” substances wherever possible, such as sevoflurane instead of isoflurane.
  • Switching to reusable equipment wherever possible. Your PPE may always have to be single-use. But other equipment, such as underbody heaters, slide sheets, and trays, can be reusable.
  • Minimise waste. For example, follow a policy of “don’t open it unless you need it” when it comes to drugs and single-use equipment.
  • Reduce your water and energy consumption. This could include switching to automatic or peddle controlled taps. And when it comes to hand hygiene, adopt a “rub not scrub” approach: A water scrub to start the day, and alcohol rub for all subsequent procedures.

You can access and download the full Green Theatre Checklist.

Case Study – “Toxic Air at the Door of the NHS.”

The Toxic Air at the Door of the NHS report revealed that over 2,000 UK health centres are located in areas where the atmospheric concentration of particulate matter exceeds the World Health Organization’s recommended limits. This accounts for around 25% of all hospitals in the UK.

Particulate matter – including PM2.5 and PM10 – is a hazardous air pollutant that can contribute to, or worsen, a number of health conditions when inhaled. Road traffic is a major source of particulate matter. According to one study, over 20,000 respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions each year can be linked to air pollution.

Hospitals and healthcare settings might address this problem through setting strict onsite speed limits, and through banning smoking on the premises. Though as we suggested earlier, unless you also take measures to address the air quality inside your healthcare setting, then you might reasonably be accused of greenwashing.

There are two strategies you can adopt to improve the onsite air quality throughout your setting:

We Can Help You Deliver On Your Environmental Policies

At Cairn Technology, we can advise on switching to products and services that will help you cut down on unnecessary waste without compromising on your infection control or your operational efficiency.

We have a wide selection of reusable high-quality surgical instruments. Make the switch from single-use instruments and help to cut down on the waste associated with their mass production and disposal.

Take a look at our super absorbent floor mats, which cut down on the waste associated with higher volume production and waste of mats with much lower absorbency, such as inco pads.

We can also provide specialist air quality monitoring services, and we stock a complete range of hospital-grade air purifiers.

Get in touch with our friendly team of expert consultants to discuss your requirements today.

A Net Zero NHS: Plans for a Sustainable Tomorrow

The NHS, like many large organisations, is taking a proactive approach to reducing its carbon footprint by achieving Net Zero.

Net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gases emitted and the amount removed from the atmosphere.

Achieving net zero emissions is a critical step in mitigating the impact of climate change. The NHS, as one of the largest employers in the world, has a substantial carbon footprint primarily due to energy consumption, transportation, and waste generation.

The Health and Care Act 2022 requires commissioners and providers of NHS services to specifically address the UK Net Zero emissions target.

In its report, Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service, the NHS has set out two clear targets:

  • Achieve a net zero NHS by 2040 for emissions directly controlled by the NHS.
  • Achieve a net zero NHS by 2045 for emissions that the NHS can influence.

How will the NHS achieve Net Zero?

To achieve this, it will look at reducing emissions from the 3 scopes covered by The Greenhouse Gas Protocol, which are:

  • Scope 1 – direct emissions from sources that are directly owned and controlled by the NHS, e.g. anaesthetics, NHS fleet and leased vehicles, etc.
  • Scope 2 – indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy, mostly electricity.
  • Scope 3 – all other indirect emissions that occur in producing and transporting goods and services, including construction, medical devices, staff commuting, etc.

In addition, as part of the NHS Carbon Footprint Plus, they will aim to reduce emissions from patient and visitor travel to and from NHS services, and medicines used at home.

Key Components of the NHS Net Zero Plans

  1. Optimising Estates: The NHS estate and its supporting facilities services comprises 15% of the organisation’s total carbon emissions profile(1). As a result, it will look at at a number of interventions to reduce emissions. These will include upgrading existing buildings and optimising building usage, as well as generating renewable energy on-site and building 40 new NHS Net Zero Carbon hospitals.
  2. Travel and Transport: Approximately 3.5% (9.5 billion miles) of all road travel in England relates to patients, visitors, staff and suppliers to the NHS, contributing around 14% of the organisation’s total emissions. To address this, it will look to transitioning its fleet to zero-emission vehicles. Other measures include reducing unnecessary journeys through preventative medicine and digital care, and enabling healthier, less polluting types of travel such as cycling and walking.
  3. Supply Chain: While the NHS does not control emissions directly from its many suppliers, it can use its considerable purchasing power to influence change. From reducing the use of single-use items in hospitals, to sourcing more local food suppliers, and transforming anaesthetic practice, the NHS will use an array of methods to optimise its carbon footprint. It will also push all suppliers to decarbonise their own processes and activities.

The Net Zero Emissions Journey

The NHS’s net zero plans underscore its dedication to addressing the global climate crisis and ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come. By focusing on energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, responsible procurement, waste reduction, and carbon offsetting, the NHS will be able to make significant reductions in emissions.

However, the nature of its commitment means that its Net Zero journey will take it far beyond its medium-term targets, with innovation in products and services continuing to enable improvements on an open-ended basis.

How we can help

We are already helping NHS hospitals to reduce their carbon footprint in a number of ways:

  1. By supplying reusable surgical instruments with a much lower cardon footprint than disposables – click here for more information
  2. By supplying super-absorbent mats that reduce the amount of waste generated through producing the mats and disposing of them compared to inco pads and less absorbent mats – click here for more information
  3. By offering workplace exposure monitoring services that help to identify anaesthetic leaks and thus mitigate losses that escape to atmosphere – click here for more information

If you would like to talk to the Cairn Technology team about how we can help your hospital with its Net Zero plans, please call us on 0333 015 4345 or click here to contact us via web form and we will be happy to help.


(1) All statistics in this article are drawn from


What To Do After Being Exposed to Infected Bodily Fluid

We recently published a guide to safely and effectively cleaning up bodily fluids. This guide largely focused on surfaces and medical devices. But what should you do if you are exposed to infected bodily fluids?

When it comes to infection control, prevention is everything.

Standard Infection Control Precautions and PPE

Follow your Standard Infection Control Precautions (SICPs) and you can significantly reduce the risk of infection in your hospital or healthcare setting.

One precaution is particularly important for reducing the risk of exposure to infected bodily fluids: Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that provides adequate protection against the risks associated with whatever task you’re undertaking. This means you should consider certain key factors when choosing PPE for every given scenario.

Procedures for Correct PPE Storage and Use

As well as choosing the right PPE for every circumstance, you should also follow certain procedures when it comes to storing, putting on, and taking off PPE:

  • Stick to single-use PPE unless specified by the manufacturer.
  • Store your PPE close to the point of use.
  • Also store it in a clear and dry area until you need to use it.
  • Pay attention to any expiry dates on the packaging.
  • Change your PPE immediately after seeing each patient, and immediately following every task or procedure.
  • Take off the PPE in the correct order, to keep contact with skin to a minimum.
  • Ensure you dispose of used PPE in the correct waste stream.

Dealing With an Exposure Incident

The Health and Safety Executive has guidelines on dealing with, managing, and reporting an exposure incident in the workplace. Their guidelines refer explicitly to incidents involving blood-borne viruses (BBV), but the policies and procedures could apply to exposure to any bodily fluid.

Immediate Response to an Exposure Incident

  • Wash any area exposed to blood or bodily fluids copiously with water – particularly if the eyes or mouth has been exposed.
  • If a puncture wound gets exposed to blood or bodily fluids, the guidance advised that “the wound should be gently encouraged to bleed, but not scrubbed or sucked.” Following this, you should wash the area with soap and water.

Evaluate the Exposure Incident

Consider the following factors to determine the potential for infection transmission:

  • What type of bodily fluid is involved? Different types of bodily fluid carry different infection risks. If the person carries a known infection risk, then you should consider all bodily fluids to be potential vectors for infection.
  • What was exposed to the bodily fluid? Skin is impervious to most viruses, so long as it’s intact. But mucous membranes, such as the eyes and the mouth, are vulnerable to infection transmission.
  • Was the exposure direct or indirect? By direct, we mean the bodily fluid was transmitted directly from the patient to someone else, such as via a cough, a sneeze, or spilled blood. Indirect exposure can come from handling devices or other objects that have been contaminated.
  • Was PPE Involved? See above for some guidelines regarding PPE.
  • What happened next? Were you able to contain the exposure risk? For example, were you able to administer immediate first aid – i.e. thorough washing of the infected area? Were you able to clean and safely dispose of any contaminated objects?

Following Steps Depending on Potential Risk

Having evaluated the incident, and the possible infection risks, you might carry out a number of interventions.

The HSE guidance related to possible BBV infections, so details what sort of infections you should test for, and how often you should test for them.

For how to manage outbreaks of other types of infections, see our guide to the most common hospital acquired infections.

Depending on the type of infection, you may also have to report to certain government agencies following the exposure risk.

Preventing The Spread of Infection in Hospitals and Healthcare Settings

At Cairn Technology, we’ve been helping both NHS and private hospitals prevent and control infections for over 20 years with a number of innovative products and solutions.

For example, we stock a full range of absorbent mats for hospitals, which can effectively trap and contain spillages allowing for safe and clean disposal afterwards. Not only can this help you prevent exposure to bodily fluids, but it can also help reduce the risks of trips, slips, and falls.

We also offer our body fluid spill kit, designed to clear up smaller spills of bodily fluids quickly and safely.

Want to discuss how we can help you control infections in your hospital? Get in touch to talk to one of our friendly experts today.

Orthopaedic Surgery Innovations

Orthopaedic surgery has seen remarkable advancements in recent years, revolutionizing the way we approach musculoskeletal disorders and injuries.

From minimally invasive techniques to cutting-edge technologies, the field of orthopaedics is at the forefront of medical innovation. This article explores some of the groundbreaking developments that have transformed orthopaedic surgery, enhancing patient outcomes and redefining the standard of care.

Minimally Invasive Surgery:

Traditionally, orthopaedic surgeries involved large incisions, leading to extended recovery times and increased risks of complications. However, the advent of minimally invasive techniques has drastically changed the landscape of orthopaedic surgery. Procedures like arthroscopy enable surgeons to visualize, diagnose, and treat joint problems through small incisions, reducing tissue damage and promoting faster healing. This approach has become particularly popular in joint replacement surgeries, such as knee and hip replacements, allowing for shorter hospital stays and quicker rehabilitation.

3D Printing Technology:

The integration of 3D printing technology has opened new avenues in orthopaedic surgery. Customized implants and prosthetics can now be created based on a patient’s unique anatomy, enhancing the precision and fit of the devices. Surgeons can use 3D-printed models of a patient’s bones to plan and practice complex procedures before entering the operating room, improving surgical accuracy and reducing complications. This personalized approach has significantly improved the overall success rates of orthopaedic surgeries.

Robotics and Navigation Systems:

Robotic-assisted surgery has gained traction in orthopaedics, providing surgeons with enhanced precision and control. Robotic systems are employed in joint replacement surgeries, allowing for more accurate implant placement and alignment. Additionally, navigation systems use computer-assisted technology to guide surgeons during procedures, ensuring optimal outcomes. These technologies not only improve the surgeon’s capabilities but also contribute to faster recovery times and reduced postoperative pain for patients.

Biological Therapies:

The field of orthopaedic surgery has seen a surge in biological therapies aimed at promoting tissue regeneration and healing. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapies are being explored as alternatives to traditional treatments for conditions such as osteoarthritis and tendon injuries. These approaches harness the body’s natural healing mechanisms, accelerating the recovery process and potentially avoiding the need for more invasive interventions.

Smart Implants and Wearable Technology:

Advancements in materials science and technology have led to the development of smart implants equipped with sensors that monitor various parameters, such as load distribution and joint movement. These implants provide real-time data to both patients and healthcare providers, allowing for personalized treatment plans and early detection of potential issues. Additionally, wearable technology, such as smart braces and exoskeletons, aids in rehabilitation by providing feedback and support to patients recovering from orthopaedic surgeries.

The future if orthopaedic surgery

The landscape of orthopaedic surgery is continually evolving, driven by groundbreaking innovations that prioritize patient outcomes, minimize invasiveness, and enhance surgical precision. From 3D printing to robotics and biological therapies, these advancements are reshaping the future of orthopaedics.

As technology continues to progress, we can expect even more transformative developments that will further improve the quality of life for individuals with musculoskeletal conditions.

How we can help you

Cairn Technology supplies a range of handcrafted instruments for orthopaedic surgery that are warrantied for 30 years of use. To view the Stille range of orthopaedic surgical instruments click here.

Or if you are tired of getting wet feet during orthopaedic procedures, click here to take a look at our range of absorbent mats to help you quickly remove spills for rapid operating theatre turnaround.



Bodily Fluid Clean Up Procedure

In all healthcare settings, bodily fluids are a major vector for spreading harmful pathogens. For this reason, an effective bodily fluid clean up procedure is one of the 10 Standard Infection Control Precautions (SICP).

In this post we will outline the advised bodily fluid clean up procedure while also discussing certain solutions that will help you stay on top of your infection prevention duties without compromising on your operational efficiency.

Potentially Hazardous Bodily Fluids in Healthcare Settings

Any bodily fluid can contain germs which can cause infection. Because it’s not always clear whether a person has an infection, you should take adequate precautions wherever you might encounter:

  • Blood
  • Faeces
  • Saliva
  • Vomit
  • Nasal discharges
  • Urine

The Bodily Fluid Clean Up Procedure

  • You should clean up any bodily fluid spillages immediately.
  • Wear adequate PPE. You should always wear gloves. If there’s a risk of splashing, also wear an apron. Assess the need for facial and eye protection depending on the circumstances.
  • Choose the right cleaning product. The best cleaning products for bodily fluids combine detergent and disinfectant, making them effective against both viruses and bacteria. If this is not possible, clean with a detergent first, followed by a disinfectant. Browse our range of hospital-grade cleaning products.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and take care not to use any products that are unsuitable for the body fluid you’re cleaning. For example, if the cleaning product contains any trace of chlorine, then it cannot be used to clean urine.
  • Use disposable paper towels or cloths, and dispose of them immediately and safely after use, in the correct waste stream.
  • Always have specialist spillage kits on hand so you can safely and quickly clean high-risk bodily fluids including blood, vomit, and urine.

Access the official NHS safe management of blood and body fluids guidelines.

Speciality Bodily Fluid Spill Kits

We stock a range of specialist spill kits for healthcare settings. Our range includes bodily fluid spill kits  to effectively clean and decontaminate affected areas.

Browse our full range of spill kits.

We also offer detailed training to help your staff understand and respond to the spill risks they face in their work. Get in touch for more information.

How To Make Your Fluid Control More Effective in a Healthcare Setting

When it comes to spillages of bodily fluids, effective infection prevention and control depends on acting as quickly as possible. Our spill kits can make a huge difference here, and we also stock an advanced range of absorbent floor mats for hospitals and other healthcare settings.

Our absorbent mats will help you optimise your fluid management for dependable infection prevention and control. They will also help you avoid additional health and safety risks, such as slips and trips, while greatly optimising your turnaround times.

For example, our T-Mat absorbent floor mat can absorb up to 8.5 litres of water or 3.5 litres of saline. It gels liquids in minutes, binding the fluid hygienically and becoming dry to the touch. This means you can quickly, easily, and safely dispose of the mat in the appropriate clinical waste stream.

Browse our full range of bodily fluid management solutions for hospitals and other healthcare settings.


UK NHS Waiting List Targets – Where Are We?

Following the global pandemic, a number of enforced government lockdowns, and a few other factors, patients across the UK are currently facing long waiting lists for even the most routine of treatments.

In this post we’ll review the NHS waiting list situation across the UK and explore how the government are progressing on their targets to address the issue.

UK NHS Waiting Lists in 2022 – A Brief Review

Nearly a year ago, we assessed the current state of the NHS backlog. Based on British Medical Association figures, there were:

  • Over 6.84 million people waiting for treatment.
  • 7 million patients waiting more than 18 weeks for treatment (the NHS’s self-imposed “maximum waiting time”).
  • Nearly 400,000 patients waiting more than a year for treatment.
  • A median waiting time of around 13.3 weeks for all treatments.

At the same time, the BMA referred to a “hidden backlog” of patients needing care who had not yet found their way into the health system.

Are NHS Waiting Lists Getting Worse?

Unfortunately, all signs indicate that across the UK, NHS waiting lists are getting worse. More recently, we covered how it’s not just waiting lists that are getting longer. UK patients are also facing excessive waits to see ambulances. In one extreme case, an 85 year old woman had to wait a total of 40 hours to get to A&E.

UK NHS Waiting Lists in 2023 – Where Are We Now?

As we’ve seen, in mid-2022 there were around 6.84 million people waiting to start routine hospital treatment in England alone. As of September 2023, it seems the figure for England has risen to 7.68 million people, a further rise from the 7.57 million people who were waiting for treatment in June 2023.

For England, this is the biggest the waiting list has ever been since records began in 2007.

The latest data shows that:

  • 389,952 people in England have been waiting more than 52 weeks to start routine hospital treatment.
  • By the end of July 2023, 7,289 people in England had been waiting more than 19 months to start routine treatment.
  • The proportion of cancer patients who were able to see a specialist within two weeks of urgent referral fell from 80.5% in June 2023, to 77.5% in July. The NHS’s target is 93%.
  • In A&E, 73% of patients are being seen within four hours. The NHS set a standard of 95%, and the government set a “recovery target” of 73%.

In Wales, around 30,000 people have been waiting more than two years for hospital treatment. Scotland and Northern Ireland differ in how they define their waiting lists. But according to The Guardian, the best “broadly equivalent figures” show that around one in nine people in Scotland, and up to 36% of people in Northern Ireland, are waiting for care.

What is the Plan to Reduce UK NHS Waiting Lists?

In June 2023, the government published a 2023 mandate to NHS England. This mandate highlights long waiting lists, and long A&E and ambulance waiting times, as the key challenges currently facing the NHS. As part of the plan to address these issues, the mandate outlines “record funding”, with an investment of an additional £3.3 billion a year in 2023 to 2024 and 2024 to 2025.

This increased funding will, they claim, “enable rapid action to improve emergency, elective, and primary care performance towards pre-pandemic levels.”

The mandate only applies to NHS England. In August 2023, health secretary Steve Barclay invited the Welsh and Scottish governments to discuss how best to tackle the NHS waiting list issue. Official counterparts in Northern Ireland were also invited to the meeting “in the absence of a functioning government”.

The aim is that the four nations can discuss how they might make their data more comparable, and how they might learn from the different approaches taken by NHS England and the devolved health authorities.

Improving Quality and Efficiency in Healthcare Settings

While we cannot help you address long waiting lists in your hospital, we can help you to improve staff safety and well-being, and reduce theatre turnaround times.

Get in touch to talk to one of our experts today.