Technology to identify the risk of infection in women who have given birth by caesarean section is being developed by Sheffield Hallam University.
Scientists at Sheffield Hallam’s Centre for Health and Social Care Research believe thermal images taken around the area of the wound could detect signs of potential infection just 48 hours after surgery.
Using a thermal-imaging camera, clinicians will be able to see the different characteristics that make up an infected and non-infected wound and could determine whether a patient is at risk of developing a wound infection.
The technique could also be applied to patients undergoing other types of surgery and it is hoped that the study will eventually contribute towards a general reduction in antibiotic prescribing.
Charmaine Childs, professor of clinical science at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Infection in surgical wounds can bring misery and morbid complications to many patients and is the third most frequent healthcare-associated infection, imposing a significant burden on NHS resources.
“Using the thermal imaging technique, clinicians could better monitor patients at the bedside.”