Background and Aims In the veterinary market a product called Tri-Solfen has been available for many years which allows for topical anaesthesia for animals with painful wounds. This product contains a mixture of short acting (lidocaine) and long acting (bupivacaine) local anaesthetics together with adrenaline (to reduce bleeding) and cetrimide (a common antimicrobial agent, found in ‘Savlon’). This product is designed to ‘spray and stay’ ie stick to the wound once sprayed on. Only a little product is therefore required to give good pain relief. Patent issues have put off investors from funding studies into the potential human uses of this very successful veterinary product.
Methods Medical Ethics are working on bringing this concept of a sprayable topical anaesthetic to the human market. If the early trials are successful, it is envisaged that the use of this product could rapidly allow for safe pain relief in large numbers of casualties with blast-related burn injury, or at least have an opiate-sparing action.
Results Currently first-in-man trials are undergoing looking at ensuring that toxic levels of local anaesthetic do not develop in the blood stream. There are also other potential benefits from the early application of an antimicrobial agent such as cetrimide, which has yet to be studied.
Conclusions We aim to describe where we are currently with our research strategy, and look for other partners who are willing to help us bring this potentially extremely useful product for use either in the clinic, the burns unit, the battlefield or following a terrorist incident.
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