An innovative, foldable splint for fractured limbs that requires no training to use and does not have to be removed during x-rays is set to become widely available to South Australians thanks to a local distribution deal.
Fluoro Medical, creators of the CAS Splint, has partnered with local first aid company St James to distribute the device across South Australia to businesses, schools and the general public.
The Splint is also being manufactured locally in the City of Port Adelaide at Enfield and is expected to generate up to 20 new employment opportunities in northern Adelaide over the next three to five years.
The CAS Splint is the first product to have been developed by local company Fluoro Medical, who received assistance from Flinders University’s Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) to develop their new innovation.
Unlike existing splints, the CAS Splint is waterproof and compact enough to fit into a standard-sized first aid kit, making it ideal for offices, construction sites, schools and homes.
Importantly, the CAS Splint can be adjusted for adult and child-sized limbs and is made from recycled polypropylene sheeting, allowing it to stay on during x-rays so that the patient does not have to undergo additional and unnecessary discomfort.
"Currently, fractured limbs are secured using sling bandages and cardboard splints which can be complicated to secure and which can cause further damage to the injury site if administered without medical training," says Fluoro Medical Managing Director, Scott Blackburn.
"The CAS Splint uses straps rather than bandages, which means that the injury site can be easily accessed by medical staff without having to remove the splint or run the risk of jarring the injured limb further.
"Crucially, it can be applied quickly and easily by anyone who finds themselves in an emergency situation, which makes it a vital inclusion in any first aid kit and a must-have for businesses, travellers, children on school excursions and aged care facilities.
"Given that limb fractures account for approximately 65% of all fall injuries*, with forearm fractures being the most common of these, the CAS Splint is a timely and necessary innovation," says Mr Blackburn.
To facilitate the development and marketing of the Splint, the MDPP provided Fluoro Medical with 250 hours of research and development assistance and 30 hours of market intelligence support, funded by the State Government’s Medical Technologies Program.
As a result, Fluoro Medical was able to incorporate pivotal end-user feedback and design recommendations into their modifications of the CAS Splint.
"The MDPP is pleased to have been able to support the creation of a wholly South Australian product that will make a difference to thousands of Australians," says MDPP Director, Professor Karen Reynolds.
The CAS Splint, which also received an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant from the Department of Industry Entrepreneurs’ Program and additional funding from the State Government through TechInSA, has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration as a Class 1 medical device.
"The fact that 100 per cent of this product was designed right here in South Australia is testament to our State’s culture of innovation," says Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Kyam Maher.
"I congratulate Fluoro Medical for their work in bringing this innovative product to market and for choosing to manufacture the product locally, creating jobs and taking advantage of the advanced manufacturing expertise we have here in this State."
Fluoro Medical is now in negotiations with overseas distributors to make the CAS Splint available in the United States, Singapore and South Korea.
In recognition of the MDPP’s vital role in supporting the development of novel medical and assistive devices, Minister Maher has pledged further support for the Program.
"$200,000 was recently committed to the Medical Technologies Program [administered by the MDPP] to continue this important partnership with Flinders University to support early stage medical device development," says Minister Maher.
The CAS Splint can currently be ordered online from Fluoro Medical (www.fluoromedical.com) or from St James First Aid (www.stjamesfirstaid.com.au).
*Australian Institute for Health and Welfare data, 2010
[Image: MDPP Senior Research Associate Dr Aaron Mohtar with Fluoro Medical Managing Director, Mr Scott Blackburn and the CAS splint]