World class medical tech from Mildura nurse

For a nurse, needle stick injuries are a common fear during day-to-day life. Currently nurses need to hold the vial of medicine, called an ampule, then snap open the cap and place the sharp needle inside. The proximity of the needle to the nurse’s hand places a huge risk on their safety. This practice has been described as incredibly unsafe and each year over 18,000 needle stick injuries to nurses or healthcare workers are reported in Australia.

Local Mildura nurse and founder of Ampisafe, Annette Nunn, saw these injuries happen recurringly and decided to do something about it. “The process of drawing up from ampules is an unsafe practice. So, one lunchtime I sat down and thought: what can I do?” Drilling a hole into a plastic ruler and putting the ampule inside she created the first prototype of Ampisafe.

Six months later and Annette has sold over 60 of the tools to local hospitals and health centres in the greater Mildura region. The current tool is a long device, made of clear Perspex, that was created with the assistance of her family. She is joined by her husband, Chris, daughter Ashley and daughter-in-law Jamie-Lee.

Back in August, Annette successfully applied to the La Trobe Accelerator Program and received $7,500 to use on their business. Her team meets every week with other Mildura entrepreneurs to participate in workshops and mentoring. “Having the help from La Trobe University has been amazing, it’s rejuvenated us. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without it.”

She believes the device will revolutionise healthcare and wants to see it become a part of every nurse’s education. “I’d love to see it in every practice, for the safety of all nurses and healthcare workers”.

After seeing so many female founders in the Mildura region, the La Trobe Accelerator Program has decided to host a Female Founder Workshop at the University’s Campus in Mildura on the 19th of November. This all-day workshop is $10 and includes all resources and catering. Tickets can be found via Eventbrite.

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