Most Needle Stick injuries are caused by unsafe needle devices rather than careless use by health care workers. Safer needle devices significantly reduce the incidence of accidental Needle Sticks and exposure to potentially fatal bloodborne illnesses.

As mandated by the Needle Stick Safety and Prevention Act, OSHA has revised its bloodborne pathogens standard to clarify the need for employers to select safer needle devices as they become available and to involve employees in identifying and choosing the devices. The updated standard also requires employers to maintain a log of injuries from contaminated sharps.

Although Safe Syringes are more expensive than traditional syringes, when you factor in the costs associated with Needle Sticks (over $3 billion spent annually in the US to treat accidental Needle Sticks); the cost of a safe needle compared with that of a fixed needle is 37¢ compared to 75¢, respectively.

The hypodermic syringe market is a 15 billion dollar per year industry worldwide, and is currently a 3.6 billion dollar industry in the United States.

Syringe Technology

There hasn't been a real breakthrough in new syringe technologies or hypodermic needles in the past ten years. The one exception to this was the manual twist off needle developed in 1993 in eastern Canada. Although it was generally felt that this development would in all likelihood reduced Needle Stick injuries among health-care workers it didn't happen. Recommendations were made that all caregiving personnel should recap their needles after usage. Consequently health-care workers found themselves being injured while attempting to place the safety cap back onto the contaminated needle. Many health-care workers would argue that Needle Stick injuries increased as a result of this new containment method. Further developments were made in an attempt to alleviate the problem by the development of a Sharp's storage container. Although very few injuries occurred after the needle was recapped and contained, the Sharp's container was considered to be safe storage for contaminated needles. After usage the caregiver was encouraged to place the contaminated syringe into the Sharp's container allowing for safer storage. These containers are now found in most emergency rooms, and in many instances have been knocked off the wall during a hectic emergency situation, resulting in needles being carelessly spewed about the emergency room and in many cases causing injury during an emergency. These containers are typically located in various spots throughout the hospital. The caregiver would be required to transport the infected syringe to wherever this container was located, this procedure itself poses a risk to whomever is responsible for transporting the potentially deadly syringe, and in most cases injury occurs before the syringe ever gets near a Sharp's container.

Safety syringes and containers are available from distributors throughout the United States.

If you or a loved one has been injured and infected as a result of a Needle Stick injury at work, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us



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