Droplet Micron: Now Available for More Medications and Over-the-Counter

We’re excited to share some big news about the Droplet Micron 34G x 3.5mm pen needle from HTL-Strefa, part of the MTD Group. The US Food & Drug Administration has expanded its approval, meaning Droplet Micron can now be used for more than just insulin. You can now use it for other medications like GLP-1s and more, making it a versatile option for many patients.

New Uses and Easier Access

Expanded Indication for Use: Droplet Micron is now approved for the “subcutaneous injection of drugs,” so it’s not just for insulin anymore. This opens up new treatment options and makes it easier for more patients to get the medications they need.

OTC Availability in the USA: With the regulatory changes, Droplet Micron will no longer be “prescription-only” in the USA. This means you can find it more easily in pharmacies and online (where state regulations allow). Look for Droplet Micron OTC on Amazon and soon at many national retailers.

Designed for Comfort

Droplet Micron is the shortest and thinnest pen needle available, designed to give you the best injection experience. Its advanced technology cuts the penetration force by up to 50%, often making injections less painful. Trusted by millions around the world and highly rated by users, Droplet Micron sets the standard for safe, reliable, and comfortable injections.

On a personal note – I have used these pen needles and I can hardly feel them when I am injecting insulin!  I love them!  -editor

For more information or to request samples, visit www.mydroplet.com

 

Sharps Safety in Oncology Nursing: A Critical Perspective

Handling sharps safely is paramount in oncology nursing due to the unique risks posed by chemotherapeutic agents and the frequent use of needles and other sharp instruments. Oncology nurses must navigate these hazards while providing compassionate care to vulnerable patients.

 The Unique Challenges in Oncology Nursing

Oncology nurses face a higher risk of sharps injuries due to the frequent administration of chemotherapeutic agents and other injectable treatments. These substances are hazardous and require meticulous handling to prevent accidental exposure, which can have serious health implications. Despite advancements in safety-engineered devices, the risk remains significant.

 The Global Context of Sharps Injuries

Sharps injuries are a global concern, transcending from high-income countries to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where resources are limited, and the endemic rates of blood-borne pathogens are higher. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that from 2019 to 2022, there were 2.8 million new cases of HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, highlighting the critical need for stringent infection control measures in all healthcare settings.  These statistics underscore the importance of continued efforts in infection control and prevention, particularly in healthcare settings where the risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens through sharps injuries is significant.

 Sharps Safety in the Oncology Setting

In oncology, the risk of sharps injuries is compounded by the use of needles and other sharp instruments in chemotherapy administration. Nurses are at the frontline, often performing tasks that increase their risk of exposure. For instance, intramuscular and subcutaneous injections, which are common in oncology, are a primary source of needle stick injuries (NSIs).

 The Role of Safety-Engineered Devices

Despite the availability of safety-engineered devices, injuries still occur. According to the International Safety Center’s EPINet data, 33.3% of sharps injuries involved a safety device, and in 12.8% of these cases, the safety mechanism was properly activated. This underscores the need for ongoing training and vigilance in using these devices correctly.

 Regulatory and Safety Measures

The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, enacted in 2000, as well as OSHA’s Revised Bloodborne Standard mandates the use of safety-engineered sharp devices and requires healthcare facilities to maintain a sharps injury log and update their exposure control plans annually. This legislation provides a framework for preventing sharps injuries but requires robust implementation and adherence.

Training and Awareness

Continuous education and training in the proper use of safety devices and adherence to safety protocols are essential. Oncology nurses must stay informed about the latest safety technologies and practices to minimize their risk of injury. This includes understanding the correct disposal of sharps to protect not only themselves but also other healthcare workers and patients.

 Innovative Approach to Infusion

Innovations in administering oncologic solutions that aim to minimize sharps injuries are promising and diverse. Hear are some key developments:

  1. Needle-Free Injection Systems

Needle-free injection systems (NFIS) are designed to deliver medication through the skin without using needles. These devices use high-pressure to propel a fine stream of medication through the skin. Innovations in this technology could significantly reduce sharps injuries in oncology settings where frequent injections are necessary. Examples include jet injectors and microneedle patches.

  1. Closed System Transfer Devices (CSTDs)

CSTDs are engineered to prevent the escape of hazardous drugs into the environment during the drug preparation and administration processes. These systems can greatly reduce the risk of needlestick injuries and exposure to hazardous drugs. CSTDs have shown effectiveness in oncology, where handling of cytotoxic drugs is common.

  1. Smart Syringes

Smart syringes with passive safety features are a significant advancement in preventing needlestick injuries. These devices automatically engage safety mechanisms without requiring additional actions from the user, making them highly reliable in high-pressure environments. Passive safety features include auto-disable functionality after a single use, retractable needles that retract automatically upon completion of the injection, and integrated needle shields that deploy automatically to cover the needle. These innovations are particularly beneficial in settings where large volumes of injections are administered, as they minimize the risk of human error and ensure consistent protection for healthcare workers.

By reducing the need for manual activation of safety mechanisms, passive safety devices enhance compliance and safety, ensuring that protective measures are always in place. This approach contrasts with active safety devices, which rely on the user to manually engage the safety features, potentially leading to lapses in protection due to oversight or improper use. Therefore, the adoption of smart syringes with passive safety features is crucial for improving sharps safety in healthcare settings.

  1. Wearable Drug Delivery Devices

Wearable devices that deliver drugs transdermally or subcutaneously over extended periods can reduce the need for repeated injections. These devices can be particularly useful for chemotherapy administration, improving patient compliance and safety. Examples include insulin pumps adapted for chemotherapy drugs.

  1. Dissolvable Microneedles

Dissolvable microneedle patches for drug delivery are an emerging technology. These patches can administer drugs directly through the skin in a minimally invasive manner. They are designed to dissolve after the drug is delivered, eliminating the need for sharps disposal and reducing the risk of needlestick injuries.

  1. Automated Drug Delivery Systems

Automated systems, such as robotic drug compounding and administration units, can minimize human involvement in the preparation and delivery of oncologic drugs. These systems can ensure precision in dosage and reduce the risk of exposure and injury from handling sharps.

  1. Advanced Infusion Pumps

Modern infusion pumps with enhanced safety features can help in the precise administration of oncologic solutions while minimizing the need for frequent needle use. Innovations include smart pumps with dose error reduction systems (DERS) and closed-loop systems that automatically adjust the infusion rate.

  Conclusion

Sharps safety is a critical component of oncology nursing, requiring a combination of advanced safety devices, rigorous training, and adherence to safety protocols. By prioritizing these measures, oncology nurses can protect themselves and their patients from the dangers of sharps injuries and hazardous drug exposure.

Ron Stoker, MS, Executive Director of the International Sharps Injury Prevention Society (ISIPS), has extensive experience in advocating for and implementing sharps safety measures across various healthcare settings.

 

Alarming Surge in needlestick Injuries tackled with essential guide to proper medical waste disposal

 
Alarming surge in needlestick injuries tackled with essential guide to proper medical waste disposal

Results of a new survey by The Harris Poll reveal that many patients receive too many needlesticks in hospital procedures, which amplifies misconceptions and lack of awareness from Americans on the risks of common medical procedures.

The “Accepted But Unacceptable” Practice of Repeated Needlesticks
Needlesticks are an often-overlooked challenge but can be one of the most traumatic aspects of a patient’s hospital stay. More than half of Americans (51%) report some fear of needles, and of that group, a top reason is fear of needing multiple needle insertions (31%).

The survey findings reflect that this concern isn’t unwarranted: a shocking 11% of survey participants with recent hospital experience needed 10 or more sticks to obtain a single blood sample – and more than half required multiple needlestick attempts for a single procedure (59% for IVs and 71% for blood draws). Moreover, 77% of patients are unaware that regardless of their conditions, patients should expect no more than two needlestick attempts from one clinician.

Nurses Agree That Repetitive Needlesticks Negatively Impact Patient Care Delivery and Workflow
Unsurprisingly, the survey highlights nurses’ strong concern about the impact of repeated needlesticks on the patient care experience. Most nurses agree that repeated needlesticks negatively impact the patient experience and say that alternatives are needed to reduce the number of needlesticks patients encounter (92% and 91%, respectively).

More than just providing a better experience, nurses agree that delays to patient treatment caused by difficult venous access or fear of needles are a problem (89% and 84%, respectively), and 67% agree that issues related to vessel access consume too much time and contribute to workflow inefficiencies.

 

Source

Needlestick injuries common in trash and recycling facilities: report

Needlestick injuries common in trash and recycling facilities: report

Raleigh, NC — An estimated 781 to 1,484 needlestick-related injuries – a rate of 2.7 per 100 workers – occur annually at solid waste and recycling material recovery facilities, according to a recent report from the Environmental Research and Education Foundation and the Solid Waste Association of North America.

Researchers surveyed the owners of material recovery facilities in North America about needlestick occurrences at their facilities. Based on the 35 responses they received, the researchers determined that 53 percent of the facilities see needles daily or a few times a week, and more than half find needles mixed in with plastics.

Picking-line workers experienced the highest rate of needlestick-related incidents because of their direct contact with waste material. The researchers also found that needlestick-related injuries may account for 45 percent of all injuries at material recovery facilities.

Using feedback from the owners, the researchers recommend several needlestick safety tips for employers:

Use personal protective equipment.
Evaluate facility operations and equipment.
Promote community education on safe disposal methods, including placing needles and other sharps in properly labeled, rigid containers or using community drop-off sites, mail-back programs or special residential collection systems.

Source

“Vampire Facials” at unlicensed spa infected 3 with HIV, CDC says

"Vampire Facials" at unlicensed spa infected 3 with HIV, CDC says

A cosmetic process known as a “vampire facial” is considered to be a more affordable and less invasive option than getting a facelift, but the process can be a serious health hazard if done in unsanitary conditions, according to a new report.

That proved to be the case for three women who likely contracted HIV from receiving vampire facials at an unlicensed spa in New Mexico, making the first known cases of the virus being transmitted during a cosmetic injection procedure, according to the findings published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

 

International Sharps Injury Prevention Society Welcomes HTL-Strefa as Corporate Member for Global Immunization Week

International Sharps Injury Prevention Society Welcomes HTL-Strefa as Corporate Member for Global Immunization Week

[Spanish Fork, UT,  4/26/2024 –

 

The International Sharps Injury Prevention Society (ISIPS) is proud to announce HTL-Strefa, a company of the MTD Group (Medical Technology and Devices), as our latest corporate member. Both organizations are celebrating Global Immunization Week to highlight the critical role of vaccinations in enhancing public health. In the last 50 years, immunization has decreased infant mortality by 40%. This means more children now reach their 5th birthday than ever before in human history. Celebrate and protect this incredible achievement. A healthier world is #HumanlyPossible. 

Vaccination campaigns are conducted across the US in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and pharmacies. Following the latest CDC guidelines, co-administration of vaccines, such as the Flu and COVID-19 booster, is encouraged at the same visit to improve coverage.

While increased vaccination rates contribute significantly to global health improvements, healthcare providers continue to face challenges such as potential blood pathogen exposure and needlestick injuries (NSI) due to improper handling of safety mechanisms post-injection.

Introducing the DropSafe® Immunization Safety Suite by HTL-Strefa

To enhance the safety of those administering vaccinations, HTL-Strefa is excited to introduce the DropSafe® Immunization Safety Suite. This suite includes a selection of top-quality products designed to ensure the safety of healthcare providers during immunizations.

Featured Products:

  • DropSafe® Sicura™ Passive Safety Needle: Launched in North America in 2023, this needle is the first to offer a fully passive safety mechanism. It features a transparent shield that locks automatically post-injection, eliminating additional steps for the clinician. This product is manufactured in HTL-Strefa’s European facility under strict quality controls. For more information and to see a demonstration, visit our product page.
  • DropSafe Inject-Safe Barrier Bandage: This innovative pre-injection bandage provides a physical barrier that protects healthcare workers from exposure to bloodborne pathogens post-injection. It is designed to be used during various immunization programs and is increasingly adopted by leading healthcare providers including Walmart, Sam’s Club, Kroger, Rite Aid, and US VA Hospitals. For more detailed information about HTL-Strefa’s efforts to protect healthcare professionals and to explore more about the DropSafe® Immunization Safety Suite, please visit HTL-Strefa’s ISIPS page or our main website at www.DropSafe.info.

Together, ISIPS and HTL-Strefa are dedicated to advancing health and safety standards across the healthcare industry, ensuring that healthcare workers are protected so they can continue to serve communities effectively.

Contact:
Ron Stoker
Executive Director
ISIPS
801-897-8131
ron@isips.org

HTL-Strefa, Inc.
Website: www.DropSafe.info
Email: info@dropsafe.info
Phone: + 1.770.528.0410

Watch our for Needles: Staying Safe at Work

Watch Out for Needles: Staying Safe at Work

Janitorial workers face a hidden danger: needles.

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) warns that needles can be found anywhere, especially in bathrooms near toilets, sinks, and under dispensers.

Here’s how to stay safe:

  • Be aware: Look before reaching into hidden areas, use tools for limited visibility, and wear puncture-resistant gloves when handling trash bags or bins. Never touch needles with bare hands.
  • If stuck by a needle:
    • Seek immediate medical attention and inform them it happened at work.
    • File a workers’ compensation claim with your healthcare provider.
    • Report the incident to your employer.

By following these simple steps, janitorial workers can protect themselves from the risks of needlesticks and ensure a safe work environment.

Manual Needle Destruction

Manual Needle Destroyers: Safe Sharps Disposal for Healthcare

In some parts of the world where safety needles and syringes will be used it is important to make traditional needles as safe as possible.

Used needles and syringes pose a risk of infection and must be disposed of safely. Manual needle destroyers are essential tools for healthcare workers, offering several benefits:

  • Reduced needlestick injuries: Destroyers safely deactivate needles at the point of use, minimizing accidental pricks.
  • Safer waste disposal: Destroyed needles are contained within the device, preventing environmental contamination.
  • Regulation compliance: Facilitates proper disposal according to healthcare waste regulations.
  • Cost-effective: Helps reduce healthcare costs associated with needlestick injuries.

By promoting safety, minimizing environmental risks, and ensuring compliance, manual needle destroyers are crucial for responsible medical waste management in healthcare settings.

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ISIPS Unveils 22nd Annual Sharps Injury Prevention Month & Welcomes Roncadelle Operations and Medicalock as New Members

ISIPS Unveils 22nd Annual Sharps Injury Prevention Month & Welcomes Roncadelle Operations and Medicalock as New Members

[Spanish Fork, UT, 12/6/2023] – The International Sharps Injury Prevention Society (ISIPS) is thrilled to announce the 22nd Annual International Sharps Injury Prevention Awareness Month in December 2023. This month-long event serves as a platform to raise awareness about the critical importance of using safety syringes to prevent needlestick injuries in healthcare settings.

Sharps injuries, particularly needlestick injuries, pose a significant risk to healthcare workers worldwide. These injuries can lead to the transmission of bloodborne pathogens, such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, causing severe health consequences. The Annual International Sharps Injury Prevention Awareness Month aims to educate healthcare professionals, patients, and the general public about the importance of adopting safety measures to prevent such injuries.

During this month-long event, ISIPS will collaborate with various healthcare organizations, industry leaders, and stakeholders to promote the use of safety syringes and sharps injury prevention practices. Through educational campaigns, webinars, workshops, and social media initiatives, ISIPS will emphasize the significance of implementing safety protocols and technologies to safeguard healthcare workers and patients alike.

In addition to the exciting announcement of the 22nd Annual International Sharps Injury Prevention Awareness Month, ISIPS is delighted to welcome two new members to their esteemed organization. Roncadelle Operations, a renowned healthcare solutions provider, and Medicalock, a leading manufacturer of innovative medical devices, have joined ISIPS in their mission to prevent sharps injuries and promote a safer healthcare environment.

Roncadelle Operations, with its expertise in healthcare solutions, brings valuable insights, experience, and unique safety products to ISIPS. Their commitment to improving patient safety aligns perfectly with ISIPS’ vision, making them an invaluable addition to the organization. To learn more about Roncadelle Operations, please visit their website at www.roncadelle-operations.com.

Medicalock, known for its cutting-edge medical devices, is dedicated to developing innovative solutions that enhance safety in healthcare settings. Their membership in ISIPS further strengthens the organization’s ability to drive change and promote the adoption of advanced sharps injury prevention technologies. For more information about Medicalock, please visit their website at https://surgilock.com/.

ISIPS is excited to collaborate with Roncadelle Operations and Medicalock, as well as existing members, to advance sharps injury prevention initiatives globally. Together, they will work towards creating a safer environment for healthcare professionals and patients, reducing the risk of needlestick injuries, and ultimately saving lives.

For more information about the 22nd Annual International Sharps Injury Prevention Awareness Month visit the ISIPS website at www.isips.org.

About ISIPS:
The International Sharps Injury Prevention Society (ISIPS) is a global organization dedicated to promoting sharps injury prevention and safe healthcare practices. With a mission to reduce the risk of needlestick injuries and bloodborne pathogen transmission, ISIPS collaborates with healthcare professionals, industry leaders, and stakeholders to raise awareness, provide education, and advocate for the adoption of safety measures in healthcare settings.

Contact:
Ron Stoker
Executive Director
ISIPS
801-897-8131
ron@isips.org

Preventing Needlestick and Sharps Injuries in the Healthcare Industry

Preventing Needlestick and Sharps Injuries in the Healthcare Industry

What risks do these types of injuries present for healthcare workers, and what can be done to keep workers safe?

In healthcare settings, the safety and well-being of healthcare workers are paramount. One overlooked area of concern is the occurrence of needlestick and sharps injuries. These incidents, often a consequence of mishandling medical waste, pose a significant health risk to healthcare professionals. This comprehensive guide aims to provide a thorough understanding of needlestick and sharps injuries, their implications, and practical steps for their prevention.

Understanding Needlestick and Sharps Injuries
A needlestick injury is a percutaneous piercing wound typically caused by a needlepoint, resulting in exposure to potentially harmful body fluids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Such injuries often occur during the use, disassembly, or disposal of needles.

Sharps injuries are similar to needlestick injuries, but they involve any sharp medical instrument, including scalpels, lancets, and broken glass or capillary tubes. Sharps injuries occur most often during instrument passing, cleaning, or disposal processes, per the CDC.

Needlestick and sharps injuries often occur during high-stress situations, such as emergency medical procedures. Other common scenarios include mishandling sharps waste, hurried movements, inadequate staff training, and neglecting the usage of PPE.

Risks and Consequences of Needlestick and Sharps Injuries

Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens. Healthcare workers exposed to needlestick and sharps injuries are at a high risk of contracting bloodborne pathogens such as:

  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV). This highly infectious virus affects the liver, causing acute and chronic disease.
  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Like HBV, HCV also affects the liver, leading to life-threatening conditions such as liver cancer and cirrhosis.
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): Although the risk is low, it’s still possible to contract HIV through needlestick and sharps injuries.


Psychological and Emotional Impact on Healthcare Workers. The occurrence of a needlestick or sharps injury can lead to significant psychological stress. This stress, along with the fear of potential infection, can greatly affect healthcare workers’ mental health and job performance.

For more info