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Medical equipment marked

Thousands of items of portable medical equipment belonging to one of the largest NHS Trusts in the UK have been forensically marked, to prevent and deter theft. University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust reports that its seven hospitals have had no reported thefts of such equipment over three years, since using SelectaDNA.

UCLH provides acute and specialist services at sites including University College Hospital, Royal National Throat, Nose & Ear Hospital, National Hospital for Neurology, Heart Hospital, Hospital of Tropical Diseases and Eastman Dental Hospital.

All seven sites are using SelectaDNA to protect such equipment as infusion pumps, roll stands, monitors, ECG recorders and defibrillators. Deterrent warning signs are on display at each site to warn potential thieves that equipment is marked and traceable. The SelectaDNA liquid comes in a kit and contains a unique DNA code that can link each marked item to a place. The invisible marking does not damage the property. If a marked item is stolen and later recovered by police, it can be traced back to the hospital via a secure online database.

Mike Phelps, technical services manager at UCLH said: “We have been marking equipment with SelectaDNA since 2011 and we continue to mark all of our new kit. We have had huge problems with equipment going missing in the past, mainly through theft but in some cases patients just take the items home with them and don’t return them. Since we started using SelectaDNA three years ago we have had no reported thefts of portable medical equipment, whereas a previous audit established that up to 400 infusion pumps alone had gone missing.”



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