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Nurse helps cushion blow for patients

PUBLISHED: 10:47 07 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:58 22 October 2010

A medical invention by a Norfolk nurse will help patients across the nation after getting the go-ahead to go into commercial production. The special pelvic cushion helps make smear tests more comfortable for women by tilting their bodies during examinations.

A medical invention by a Norfolk nurse will help patients across the nation after getting the go-ahead to go into commercial production.

The special pelvic cushion helps make smear tests more comfortable for women by tilting their bodies during examinations.

It was devised by Lynne Phillippo, a nurse practitioner at the Cromer surgery, who realised through 30 years' experience the tests could be difficult for patients and staff alike.

Last year her invention won a £500 prize from innovation body Health Enterprise East to pay for further development.

And now the foam cushion, called the Danrik Wedge, has been given the go-ahead for full scale production - potentially sending it into thousands of surgeries across the land.

It can also be used for patients having coils inserted, eggs removed for test tube baby treatment, and ultrasound examinations.

Mrs Phillippo said she first had the idea four years ago, after seeing the problem and the lack of any equipment to solve it.

Smear tests - done every four years for women aged 25 to 65 to check for cancerous cells - could be intrusive and embarrassing, which could be reason some women did not attend for screening sessions, she explained.

After paying for a prototype herself, and trialling it, she was delighted to see it go into commercial production.

“I didn't ever set out to be an inventor. I just felt this was needed through my own experiences dealing with patients.

“If it encourages a few more women to have smear tests, it will have been worthwhile,” she added.

Health Enterprise East senior innovation manager Anne Blackwood said the wedge was “the perfect example of a simple but effective idea that really improves the patient experience.”

The £150 wedges can be obtained through the websites www.danrik-wedge.co.uk or www.charnwoodhealthcare.com


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