Student’s ingenious device to help those undergoing dialysis

Rory Jeffries designed the Haemo Link to provide patients with improved comfort when having haemodia

Rory Jeffries designed the Haemo Link to provide patients with improved comfort when having haemodialysis. Photo: Nottingham Trent University. - Credit: Archant

A student who watched his mother undergo years of dialysis due to chronic kidney disease has designed an ingenious device to help others undergoing the treatment.

Rory Jeffries, from Brundall near Norwich, has created the Haemo Link – a cannula securement device which provides patients with improved comfort when having haemodialysis.

The 21-year-old product design student currently attends Nottingham Trent University and said: 'I've had a lot of experience of seeing my mum's treatment and I wanted to see if I could use my degree to improve the lives of other patients.'

Prior to a successful kidney transplant Mr Jeffries' mother underwent three years of haemodialysis and two year of peritoneal dialysis.

The student added: 'Haemodialysis is tough and time-consuming. It has a major impact on people's lives and involves regular trips to hospital over several years.'

Haemodialysis involves two cannules being inserted into the arm; one to take blood away, the other to return it once it has been cleaned.

The cannulas are kept in place with medical sticky tape and treatment can take up to four hours per session – with average patients needing to visit the hospital for dialysis three times each week.

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Mr Jeffries said: 'From speaking to a number of patients it became apparent that the sticky tape can cause discomfort.

'When you consider how much time people spend undergoing dialysis, small improvements to levels of comfort can make a big difference.

'Not only that, but after speaking to doctors, I became aware that some patients with a disease like Alzheimer's often pull the tape off all together.'

The student's Haemo Link removes the need for medical sticky tape – replacing it with a strap fitted with a plastic body and specially designed housing to keep the two cannulas in place.

The device can be rotated to allow the cannula to enter the skin from any direction while the strap and housing are reusable and adjustable.

Mr Jeffries added: 'I was keen to design something that was secure and comfortable to help treatments go more smoothly.

'Traditional methods of securing cannulas are outdated, so what I've designed is more comfortable, secure and reusable.

'Making it better for the environment while also potentially saving money for the NHS.'

Mr Jeffries design will go on public display at Nottingham Trent University's Art and Design Summer Show.