The Tookie Vest for Paediatric Oncology
A wearable vest for children who require chemotherapy and who are fitted with a Central Venous Catheter. The vest provides enhanced line security and patient well-being in treatment – ‘A life more normal’.
D4D Project Lead and Organisation
Nathanial Mills, D4D at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS FT & Tookie Limited
When did project start?
Children who suffer from cancer often have a central venous catheter installed in the upper side of their chest to provide a site for administering drugs directly into the bloodstream. These catheters can be prone to movement or fall out when accidentally pulled or knocked. Inadvertent removal or too much movement increases the risk of infection, and can result in very serious complications for the patient. Additionally, each line re-instatement costs the healthcare provider around £3,000.
When a child is fitted with a central line catheter, carers and parents are all too aware of the dangers of snagging and pulling on the line. This awareness causes considerable concern and may lead to them limiting the child’s activity and preventing them from playing with friends or just doing what children do.
The Tookie Vest provides a preventative approach to the problem of catheter displacement by stabilising the catheter. This is a unique response to a global problem. The vest is a Class 1 medical device and offers a secure location for the end of a central line to be stored. The Tookie Vest for Oncology is designed to capture and protect the central line, so that once the line is securely covered, patients and carers become less concerned and this enables a level of normality of movement and actions. The Tookie Vest design is patient-led, with clinical advice and guidance during its development, which ensures it is fit for purpose.
The TITCH network helped Tookie identify possible clinical collaborators for this project. Devices for Dignity provided regulatory early stage advice and support on technical product understanding and undertook a number of focus groups with children and families.
The vest is the subject of a clinical evaluation at Manchester Children’s Hospital, with a research element to investigate the ability of the Tookie Vest to reduce the frequency of inadvertent line fall out.
Tookie has keen interest by NHS commissioners towards NHS adoption and has been awarded an Innovate UK Global Feasibility study grant to take the Tookie Vest to the USA in February as a solution.
Having exhibited at MEDICA in November 2016 Tookie is in discussions with eighteen countries in terms of distribution.
- Devices for Dignity HTC
- TITCH network
- Central Manchester Hospitals Foundation Trust
- Sheffield Children’s Hospital