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Supported by the NHS Innovation Accelerator Programme, Wiresafe™ is a unique procedural pack designed to prevent guidewire retention and needle stick injuries during the insertion of central venous catheters (CVC) and chest drains.

Wiresafe™ is likely to be of particular interest to staff working in operating theatres, intensive care units (ITU), emergency departments, oncology, respiratory and renal wards.

Problem Identified

Guidewires are the second most common foreign object to be left in people after operations. The NHS reports this occurs in one in every 3,200 procedures. This can lead to very serious complications for patients, such as embolism (obstruction of an artery), arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), vascular damage and thrombosis, and can lead to death in up to 20% of cases.

Patients are also likely to need to stay longer in hospital, with increased risk to the patient and expenditure to the Trust. This is due to the additional procedures required such as removing the guidewire via interventional radiology procedures.

Suggested Solution

WireSafe™ is a procedural pack used during central venous catheter (CVC) and chest drain insertion procedures. Wiresafe™ contains the equipment needed to complete the procedure from the point where the guidewire should have been removed (such as a stitch, stitch holder, dressing and scissors). As only the guidewire can be used to unlock the procedure pack, the procedure cannot be completed without the guidewire being removed, thereby preventing retention of the guidewire.

WireSafe™ has been selected for support by the NHS Innovation Accelerator, was awarded President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement by the Royal College of Anaesthetists, 2016 and highly commended at the National Patient Safety Awards, 2016.


  • Saves lives
  • Reduced NHS costs
  • 99.9% effective
  • Simple to use
  • Prevents guidewire retention – A Never Event
  • Facilitates CVC and chest drain insertion
  • Safe disposal of sharps and wires
  • Improves safety of central line procedures for patients/staff

Where do I find out more about implementation?

For further information, visit or contact Dave Evans at