Injection Safety.

Ideal Syringe

An ideal syringe ensures safer injection. it protects both medical staff and patient from possible hazards. An ideal syringe may have the following desirable properties as per the leaflet ALERT’ published by center for disease control USA. They have gone through all the published information and made the ideal properties in a nutshell. They are the following.
  • The device is needleless.
  • The safety feature is an integral part of the device.
  • The device preferably works passively(i.e., it requires no activation by the user).
  • If user activation is necessary, the safety feature can be engaged with a single-handed technique and allows the workers hands to remain behind the exposed sharp.
  • The user can easily tell whether the safety feature is activated.
  • The safety feature cannot be deactivated and remains protective through disposal.
  • The device performs reliably.
  • The device is easy to use and practical.
  • The device is easy to use and is feasible.
The guidelines conclude like this: “Although each of these characteristics is desirable, some are not feasible, applicable or available. And most of the models do not ensure safety of both the patient and the health care worker, and when they do they are very costly.”

Auto Disable Syringe

The necessity of auto disable syringes evolved with the increased transmission of blood borne fatal diseases during the routine medical care.
An auto disable syringe- voluntarily or involuntarily- gets damaged after single use. The involuntary models which permit only one backward movement followed by one full forward movement of the piston are the most popular.

Safe Syringes

The concept of safe syringes evolved with the realization that the blood borne fatal diseases are occupationally transmissible and can be acquired during the routine work of a health care worker.
A safe syringe is a modified, disposable plastic syringe designed so that the health care worker can disable it, in such a way that the needle is protected and cannot be re-used.

Safe syringes extend the safety not only to the patients but also to the medical personnel, cleaning staff, waste disposal staff and to any person who may accidentally come across a contaminated needle.

Peanut Safe Syringe

This is a new comer in the market. It is capable of destroying the syringe voluntarily after use, like an auto disable syringe. This syringe has an additional capability of disabling the needle. The manufacturers claim it to be the most cost effective solution for ensuring injection safety as it is capable of providing safe syringe properties at the price of an auto disable syringe.

Jet Injector

This is a needle-free device that allows the injection of a substance through the skin under high pressure. A high speed jet directly transfers medication through the skin. It is commonly used in mass immunization programs where the same medicine or vaccine is injected to a large number of recipients. The major drawbacks are its difficulty in using separate medicines and the high cost of the equipment. Another difficulty stated is that it injects medicine to the subcutaneous tissue and not to the blood vessel.

What the new syringes offer?

The patients

The only way to prevent needle borne infection to patients is to avoid chances of reusing the needles and syringes. This needs immediate disabling of syringe and needle after usage.

The medical personnel

The only way to prevent needle borne infection to medical staff is to safely destroy and dispose the used needles and syringes without giving a chance for needle prick. This again needs immediate disabling of syringe and needle after usage.
This excludes the syringe cutters and syringe destroyers, used along with ordinary disposable syringes, from the picture.
The only solution left behind is the use of syringes with auto disable mechanisms or safe syringes.
It is a fact that where there is a high chance for patients’ contamination, there is an equally high chance for medical personnel to get infected so such areas should not be denied of protective equipments.
Most of the auto disable syringes available in the market cannot be used:
  • to reconstitute vials with their diluting fluids,
  • to aspirate oil or thick preparations,
  • to draw blood.
The difficulty occurs as the involuntary disabling mechanism in them gets activated at an undesirable time point making the device nonfunctional in the midst of the procedure. So an auto disable syringe which is handy and is voluntarily disabled may be preferred as per NIOSH.

A voluntary auto disable syringe again saves valuable resources by allowing multiple procedures like blood aspiration, injection etc. in a single patient in a single sitting; While separate involuntary auto disable syringe has to be used for each action. In a hospital setup, where the wards are crowded with patients:
The nurse goes with her trolley to dispense medicine and comes back with a bucket full of used syringes. She takes each of them and disposes them with a needle destroyer. This a herculean and risky task. There is also a high potential for inadequate and improper disposal of syringes in this scenario.
The auto disable syringes which can be made non reusable in the nick of a second before dropping to the trash is the only remedy for proper disposal of syringes .
The popularization and proper usage of safe auto disable syringes can prevent many a person among patients and medical staff from the unfortunate event of contracting a blood borne fatal and incurable disease.
Always, “prevention is better than cure”.
A technology becomes popular and effective when it is affordable and cost effective, rather than when it is most effective but unaffordable.