Medical field regarding needles and sharps


Many incidents have been occurring in the medical field regarding needles and sharps, according to Allan et al (2005), a needlestick injury is just a break into the skin from a medical needle, scalpels or other material. The injury leaves the victim prone to many infections like; Hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV), HIV among other life threatening blood infections. For HBV, there exists an effective vaccine in the market but the case is different for the other infections that may occur. The need for verification of implemented protected needles in this field being of any use to the medical practitioners is my main aim.

Literature review

This evaluation is done to determine how well the protected needle has met its main objectives within this field and it will also determine the effectiveness of the product. The high incidence rate of needle stick injuries has lead to the development and use of protected needles within the nurse and medical staff. The first being the use of disposable hypodermic syringes; this creation relates to disposable syringes that will comprise a barrel that has at the front end a needle connection that will have a needle guard and injection needle. The syringe is thus provided with sealing members for the needle guard, this is made of a sleeve of very shrinkable plastic. The sleeve must then be shrunk on only one side around the barrel and/or the needle connection around or on the front part of the barrel the other way would be around the other side i.e. around part of the needle guard that will be adjoining the needle connection. The disposable hypodermic needles will greatly reduce the occurrence of needle stick injuries.

Another model of protected needles is that of a shielded cannula assembly that will include a shield of latex made of tubular rubber that will then be mounted over the cannula. According to Allan Et al (2002), the shield will be made in such a way that it will then include resilient collapsible tubular portions that will be able to collapse just as an accordion when any longitudinal force is imposed thereon on it. The shield is made in such a way that it has a cap at the distal end which will then seal off the chamber in which the cannula is contained in a sterile manner and thus reducing the occurrence of needle stick injury. The cap will be made in such a way that it will include a transverse wall; the wall may only then be pierced by the cannula only when the cannula is thus passed into a vial of medication or into a connector of an administration set.

The new retractable technology is made such that it will include hypodermic syringes that will have cylindrical guards that surround the needle and the tip at all times, the setup then goes ahead to protect the nurses staff from any possible injury that may be got from the contaminated needles. The needle will be made in such a way that the guard is such that it will be able to retract into a already built cylindrical cavity if it is pressed against any would be patient or skin of a nurses practitioner, the needle will then extend by a spring mechanism. According to The International Sharps Injury Prevention Society (2003), the set up is such that the syringe will have a needle mounted in the lower end of a tubular mount. The mechanism ensures that there is no direct contact to the needle thus reducing the risk of needlestick injury.

In the world today, there also exist a needle that is self sterilizing, hypodermic syringes will be such that they will have the self-sterilizing needle, the syringe contain a capsule that will be containing the self sterilizing fluid and also a prerogative end that will be made of very flexible material having elastic memory tendencies that will enable self sealing after axial penetration (McGill, M, & Khokhar 1995).

Among the protected needles, there also exist the retractable/safety syringe that is able to act in a similar manner as the traditional syringe. It works such that, after the complete and desired amount of fluid is injected into the patient, then what happens is that the needle of the syringe will very quickly retract and thus protect the user form any accidental needle sticks. The same I also possible when drawing blood from a patient, a safety syringe will enacts a safety barrel that will cover the exposed needle and in so doing protect the user from harm.

The other way of using protected needles is by use of blunt-tipped blood-drawing needles that are used in place of the traditional syringes. "This process can be done before a complete draw or is automatically done as part of the motion when tube becomes full" (Berg, 2002).

The blunt-tipped blood-drawing needle works similar to conventional needles, but until the correct or full amount of blood is drawn from a patient, then one must push the tube forwards and thus causing the barrel to depress in a motion that will form around the outside of the needle that was exposed.

Description of the product

This product is important as it will support the medical practitioners and thus save much time and reduce injury to the user in movement and transport during disposal. The product will also come as a great example to students and others who have the passion of medical practice.

The International Sharps Injury Prevention Society (2003) asserts that the working conditions of many medical workers leave them prone to needle stick injuries; when the nurse or doctor deals with a difficult patient and there is a struggle to inject the patient or when the nurse/doctor works at night with poor lighting conditions. The other cause of needle stick injuries is the nurse/doctors working experience in the medical field, research had proved that the more the experience a medical worker has, then the lower the risk of needlestick injuries and vice versa. Newly working medical practitioners will have a problem when recapping the syringe after use, they will try and recap while they hold the syringe in one hand and the cap in the other hand. The best safety procedure is that of using protected needles that have been found to greatly reduce needlestick injuries.

Disposal is another concern to medical practitioners, needlestick injuries will occur when needles are disposed off improperly in regular garbage heaps or if the needles are lost in the workplace. The solution to this is the use of special containers to dispose the used syringes and needles since accidents may occur; When carrying the needle to the disposal container, especially when the needle is uncapped and mixed with other trash and w hen placing the needle into the disposal container, especially if the container is overfilled or when one empties the disposal containers instead of sealing them for disposal. Most of the needlestick injuries occur either in the workplace or through improper disposal according to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), this is mostly attributed to the lack of motivation in health workers or forgetfulness.

The best way to avoid injury is to prevent dangerous exposure to needlestick injury but some of the recommendations and prevention for needlestick injuries are practices like; Washing hands after contact with the patient, blood and/or body fluids, this will ensure that as you wash your hands, you will most likely notice sharp objects that have you had earlier used and forgotten of. Wear protective gloves when dealing with bodily fluids and/or use of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, protective equipment like surgical gloves will help protect your fingers from a needlestick or if an injury does occur, the depth of the injury will be greatly reduced. Protective goggles will help protect your eyes from sharp objects that bounce off the table. The other safety tip is safe and immediate disposal of all sharps into appropriate bins. The last option is to ensure that one should not overfill sharps containers and also making it a habit to never re-sheath needles or if you do, place the cover on a flat place and scope it into place (Perry et al. 119).

A needlestick injury is just a break into the skin from a medical needle, scalpels or other material. The best way to reduce the occurrence of the injury is through the use of protected needles and the safety procedures mentioned above when the medical practitioner is not using the protected needles. I feel that the protected needle measures are not available to all since in the world countries the same is yet to be implemented. The best way to this would be for cheaper protected needles to be brought into the market.

Research method used

I used the following research methods in my survey of my project. For this project I used experiments and survey for my research.


These entail the actual implementation of protected needles on selected medical institutions to verify its actual reduction on needlestick injury.


Survey on the other hand entails the comparison of the traditional needles to the protected needles in medical fields that are already implementing the protected needle strategy to help reduce needlestick injury.

Difference of the two research methods is that experimental method will try to verify the ability of protected needles to reduce injury while survey will try to id out the effectiveness of already implemented protected needle use.

Works cited

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