To protect healthcare workers at risk of needlestick injury, the U.S., Europe and other international regions mandate the use of safety-engineered medical devices. Healthcare facilities are required to select, purchase and use devices that can eliminate, or minimize to the lowest possible extent, the risk of occupational exposure to blood-borne pathogens. Despite the strong conversion of U.S. healthcare facilities to the use of devices that comply with these laws, needlestick reporting rates remain high for many risk areas. The majority of reported injuries involving needles and syringes now involve safety-engineered devices.
Incidents involving safety devices can occur due to non-activation of the needlestick protection mechanism, or non-intuitive steps of use that require changes to normal routine procedures. To maximize levels of occupational protection, the FDA, OSHA and industry groups cite a preference amongst many healthcare workers for devices with passive (automatic) needlestick prevention features that can “enhance the safety design and are more likely to have a greater impact on prevention,” as well as integrated safety features that are “an integral part of the device and cannot be removed”.
To its knowledge, Unilife has the only range of prefilled syringes with automatic needle retraction features that are fully integrated within the barrel. Compared to ancillary safety products that are attached onto standard prefilled syringes, Unilife’s syringe technologies require no additional steps during the filling and packaging process and can reduce filling, packaging and transport volumes by up to 70%. Unilife syringe technologies also enable operators to control the speed of needle retraction directly from the body into the barrel of the syringe, and not in the open air.