Posts Tagged Needlestick

Low “Dead Space” Syringes Could Save Your Life

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 | Permalink

Another guest article from Jamie Bridge this week. This time he’s writing about some of the work of researcher Dr. William Zule, looking into how the type of syringe someone uses may have an inpact on their risk of getting the HIV virus. I have had this article a few weeks but it was embargoed until the AIDS2010 conference started as its finding are being presented there.

How syringe type effects HIV risk

New research being presented this week at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna has made a strong link between different types of syringe and levels of HIV transmission through sharing.

Every needle-syringe, when the plunger is fully depressed, retains some fluid or blood in what is termed “dead-space”. Some syringe designs have more of this “dead space” than others – especially those with detachable needles. Depending on the design, some syringes can retain 84 microlitres of fluid. This is a very, very small amount – but other syringe designs can retain as little as 2 microlitres.

So the hypothesis is simple: if you share a syringe with higher “dead-space”, then there will be more blood retained in the syringe and you will be more likely to become infected with blood-borne viruses. If you share a low “dead space” syringe, you are still putting yourself at risk – but perhaps less so, as there is less blood retained when the plunger is fully down.

Previous modelling work by Dr William Zule and colleagues in the USA tried to quantify what this could mean in the real world. The results suggested that injection-related HIV epidemics might not occur when most (95% or more) of injectors use syringes with low “dead space”. If everyone uses higher “dead space” syringes, then HIV prevalence can reach 50% among injectors in just seventeen years. When just one in ten sharing events involve high “dead space” syringes, then HIV prevalence can stabilize.

The findings, albeit theoretical, have clear implications for harm reduction programs. However, in Vienna, the research has been taken to the next level. Data from multi-year HIV prevalence studies were gathered from 35 cities in 20 countries, and local needle exchange workers were contacted to find out what types of syringe were mainly used.

In cities where high “dead space” syringes were mainly used, the average HIV prevalence among injectors was 32.6% (and went up as high as 73%). In cities where low “dead space” syringes were mainly used, the average was just 1.4%. When the data were analyzed, the type of syringe was the only factor closely associated with this pattern in HIV.

More research needs to be done on this topic, and expect to hear a lot more about this in the future – this is an important finding which could have a big impact on harm reduction and the advice given to injectors. Of course, the biggest message is that ALL needle-syringe sharing is a risk. However, if we could reduce HIV transmission simply by providing one kind of syringe over another, then this is something that must be rolled out as soon as possible. Do you know what kind of syringe your local exchange supplies?

A big thank you to Dr William Zule for sharing this research.

Jamie Bridge, MSc, currently works in the Technical Publications and Learning Team of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Before moving to Geneva in 2010, he worked for the International Harm Reduction Association in London, coordinating the international harm reduction conferences. Before that, he also worked in a needle and syringe program in Bedford. Jamie also works voluntarily with UKHRA and the NNEF .





Analysis of safety syringe market

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012 | Permalink

One of the biggest challenges facing manufacturers of safety syringes in Europe is the lack of legislation on the use of these products in health care settings.

Till date, none of the European countries has introduced clear rules governing the usage of safety devices or making their use mandatory. Some countries such as Germany have issued broad directives but these are meant to be guidelines and leave the final decision to the discretion of the purchasing agency.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan reveals that the European safety syringes market generated a market revenue of USD 13 million in 2003 and is projected to double by 2010.

Given that needlestick injuries amount to a staggering one million in Europe every year, and that 16 to 25 per cent of these are linked to the usage of single-use syringes, the market for safety syringes – which prevent needlestick injuries as well as discourage reuse – looks extremely promising.

“A legislation that is sympathetic to the problems faced by the number of needlestick injuries occurring in Europe and the hazards of infection by over 20 pathogens that health workers face is needed,” comments Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Kavitha Ravikumar. “This will not only be socially lauded but also act as an effective driver to the safety syringes market.”

The Needlestick Prevention Act introduced in the United States represents the first true legislation towards mandating the use of safety engineered products in health care settings. This landmark legislation was introduced to address the growing concern of the health care industry for the safety of its employees. With the spread of blood-borne diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis, there is now, more than ever, an urgent need for safer devices that eliminate needlestick injuries.

Huge health care expenditure on drug-related infections – over USD 900 million in the case of Spain and about USD 700 million in the case of Italy – can also be potentially controlled if syringe reuse and needle sharing become difficult due to distribution of safety syringes in place of the ordinary ones.

The Needlestick Prevention Act has been instrumental in opening up a new market with considerable potential – the European market. While this market is still relatively very small, the increasing awareness of safety issues and the demands of health care workers for safer work environments are expected to help it grow significantly in the future.

Meanwhile, in the absence of specific government legislation, safety syringe manufacturers must consider supporting movements lobbying for such laws and simultaneously work at raising awareness of safety issues and the drawbacks of not using safety devices.

Currently, it is estimated that over 50 per cent of ordinary syringes have the potential to be replaced by safety products. This number is expected to rise to considerably in 2010 due to technological advances. Market penetration is also set to show substantial long-term increases from the presently low levels of 2.5 per cent.

However, the high prices of safety syringes are likely to be a major constraint to market growth. These devices are perceived to be far too expensive at a time when almost all end-user markets are focused on cost-cutting.

In spite of their proven advantages over ordinary syringes, adoption by healthcare agencies has not been very significant. Cost of new technology in a growing market combined with small-sized end-user markets is likely to continue to keep prices high.

“Participants can consider applying for subsidies and exemptions on the welfare and citizen protection platform to bring down manufacturing costs, and consequently product prices,” says Ms. Ravikumar. “Passing on the benefits of economies of scale can also help lower prices and drive demand for safety syringes.”

With syringes being a commodity market, there is a strong need to play up the innovation and technology benefits of these products. Companies must concentrate on the prestige and reputation associated with having safety products in their portfolios, particularly in premium and specialty health care areas.

Needlestick Statistics

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 | Permalink

Occupational Exposure

  •     1,300,000 deaths annually
  •     23,000,000 hepatitis infections annually
  •     260,000 HIV/AIDS infections annually
  •     According to the CDC, 80% of occupationally acquired       diseases in the U.S. are transmitted through needlestick injuries.
  •     Every 24 seconds a person dies from having an injection from an unclean syringe
  •     50% of injections given to children are unsafe


Friday, October 21st, 2011 | Permalink

by AnestaWeb, Inc. QD Syringe Systems Describing In Detail The Unsafe Practice Of Drawing Medications Into Vials With Steel Needles.


Needlestick Injuries, Legislation and More…

Saturday, December 26th, 2009 | Permalink

by Q Stat Safety Syringe Needlestick Injuries (NSI) * “Today alone over 2,100 health care professionals will incur a needlestick related injury.” [NIOSH Study, 1999] * There have been 57 documented cases of HIV seroconversion among healthcare personnel * The cost of needlestick injury follow-up in the U.S.

Continued here:
Needlestick Injuries, Legislation and More…