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A Safer Way to Handle Surgical Scalpel Blades

When tasked with redesigning a medical device, four biomedical engineering majors focused their attention on scalpels. Specifically, the blade packaging for the tool.
Their blade packaging was designed to protect health care workers from accidental injuries that can occur when handling exposed scalpel blades.

Now their invention, Scal-Pal, is one of six competing for Georgia Tech’s InVenture Prize, an annual innovation competition. The winner will be chosen March 14.

Currently doctors and nurses must handle the blade with their fingers to remove it or attach a new one to the scalpel handle. The foil packaging around a fresh blade is opened like an adhesive bandage. One person opens the packaging, while a second person grabs the exposed blade with needle holders and inserts it into the scalpel handle.

“It’s easy for accidents to happen because the packaging forces the blade to be exposed,” said Alpharetta native Bailey Klee. “I was job shadowing in an operating room and I saw a nurse take off the blade and cut herself. We found a way to prevent that from happening again.”

Full story can be found on Georgia Tech News Center site.

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