Belfast Trust Consultant Shows Support for Painless Needles Research


Dr David Sweet a Consultant Neonatologist in the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital featured on UTV Live News on Wednesday 8th May to show his support for the research done by Queen’s University Belfast for micro-needle painless injections.


David plans to help the researchers at Queen's University Belfast find clinical applications for painless needless in Neonatal Care. The needles are tiny projections which can painlessly penetrate the outer layer of the skin. They are applied as a skin patch and can be used to deliver medication or to monitor the level of drugs in a patient's body without drawing blood. The research has won Dr Ryan Donnelly, a Reader in Pharmaceutics in the School of Pharmacy in Queen’s University, prestigious awards as GlaxoSmithKline Emerging Scientist of 2012 and BBSRC Innovator of the Year 2013.

The micro needles could in the future help to monitor medication levels in premature babies, which is notoriously difficult because they are so small and vulnerable. The UTV clip also features the McGarrity family and their son Ethan. Ethan was born at just 24 weeks and spent 3 months in the Royal Victoria Hospital neonatal unit. Ethan is now a happy, healthy baby boy and his parents are keen to show their support for the painless needles which may in the future be used in babies just like Ethan.

Dr David Sweet gives his expert opinion on the micro needles for premature babies stating that:
“If we had a different way of doing this it would be absolutely fantastic. It would potentially reduce the number of blood transfusions and avoid a lot of the pain the babies have to go through”

Watch below to see David talk about the benefits of clinical applications and blood sampling in newborns.