Every day, health care workers are exposed to dangerous and deadly bloodborne pathogens through contaminated needlesticks, sharps, or splash exposures. It is one of the greatest risks faced by the frontline health care worker.

As a result, the need for safety needles is very well established and lobbying for their use is increasing. However, what is less known is that according to the National Surveillance System for Healthcare Workers (USA), 52% of needle stick injuries with hollow bore needles take place during the procedure.

Best Safety Needle Graph

Current safety needles offer inadequate protection during this time because the safety feature on the device requires activation. A health worker will not activate the safety feature until the procedure is complete and therefore the protection offered by most safety needles is not complete. This is evidenced by the fact that 30% of all percutaneous injuries with a hollow bore needle involved needles WITH a safety device (NASH 2007)

Best Safety Needle Graph

Not all safety needles are the same!

“Passive protection is a newly emerging elemental engineering control that can eliminate exposure risk throughout the continuum of use — before, during, and after use of a sharp. It should involve no button pressing, no lever pushing, no needle shearing, no post clinical procedural activation, no “self” anything – the technological movement will involve the simple engineering of a smart device that activates itself during the course of normal clinical use…” – AMBER HOGAN MITCHELL – MPH, DrPH, Senior industrial hygienist at the U.S. Department of Labor OSHA (specializing in national regulatory enforcement issues), OSHA National Bloodborne Pathogens Coordinator.

SOURCE: http://needlesticksafety.org/experts-speak-out/35-defining-passive-in-safety-engineered-medical-devices-a-national-overview