A recent article in The Herald Dispatch detailed that the Huntington City Council in West Virginia, USA has made the decision to outfit every fire-fighter in their service with needle-resistant gloves in a pro-active move to protect them from needlestick related injury.
The need for this measure has come about due to the increase in call outs for overdose related calls.
The initial outlay for this council for 100 pairs of gloves is US$3000. An investment that not only will save potentially tens of thousands of future dollars in injury-related medical testing, counselling expenses, work-related injury claims and other costs due to this type of trauma, but that will more importantly relieve the stress and long-term health affects related to needlestick injury for both these fire-fighters and their families.
Huntington is not the first city council to take measures to protect professionals and service people that are placed at risk. From the same article I quote:
‘Such gloves are being used in neighbouring communities as well, as first responders and other workers continue to deal with safety issues related to the opioid epidemic.’
Last month, Flatwoods, Kentucky, resident Andrew Manis donated needle-resistant gloves to the Greenup County Sheriff’s Office and Flatwoods Police Department.
“The risk of accidental needle-stick injuries is a growing concern these days. It causes an enormous emotional toll on an individual and their loved ones, with the uncertainty that comes with a needle-stick,” Manis said in an email to The Herald-Dispatch. “With these gloves, I hope to minimise the risk to our officers to ensure they’re able to focus on keeping us secure, without putting their own safety in jeopardy.”
In this statement Mr Manis is not talking about health care workers, who are those professionals most obviously at risk of this type of injury, but of police professionals.
This gives rise to the consideration of just how many workers are at direct risk of needlestick injury in their everyday working lives through no fault of their own. Lets list a few here that are not so obvious.
- Law-enforcement professionals
- Security professionals
- Waste and rubbish removal professionals
- Waste management and sorting professionals
- Council workers
- Gardeners and landscape artists
- Charity services professionals providing on-street clean-up services
It has been recognised in several articles and surveys that waste disposal and management is one of the working environments’ where people are at the highest risk of needlestick injury due to the fact that at-home needle use and disposal is unregulated.
With the rising acknowledgement of the risks and costs associated with this type of injury, and the range of professionals and workers in the community that are at risk, it would make sense to remove the danger instead of finding and spending money on ways and things, like gloves, to avoid it.
The widespread use of ‘safety syringes’ like the ClickZip™ Needle Retractable Safety Syringe would achieve exactly that. The technology is specifically designed so that after the needle is used it retracts back into the barrel of the syringe and then tilts to completely encapsulate the needle and prevent it from being able to be pushed out of the barrel again. This therefore prevents any chance of needlestick injury. Indeed, its disposal does not even require a sharps container.
The wide spread use of this type technology is primarily concerned with community safety and its long-term health. The technology exists now, is readily available and is globally recognised by organisations like the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a way to almost completely prevent this type of injury , especially outside of health care environments.
Perhaps it’s now time that councils and other industry bodies placed pressure on the powers to be to make the use of ‘safety syringes’ mandated across the medical devices industry. This would therefore act to prevent these injuries and negate the need to invest in inferior tactics and equipment, like gloves, to try and protect workers.
About Numedico and the ClickZip ™ Needle Retractable Safety Syringe
Numedico Technologies is an Australian-based wholesaler of the ClickZip™ Needle Retractable Safety Syringe, the highest quality manual retractable needle injectable delivery system in the Asia-Western Pacific region. Its mission is to provide access to truly functional, practical and safe medical devices.
The ClickZip™ Needle Retractable Safety Syringe is a new and globally patented Swiss technology active, high quality needle with a retraction mechanism, thus preventing needlestick injury and syringe reuse.
It is one of the best safety syringes on the market today and is able to be manufactured at a fraction of the cost of many of its competitors.
Ideal and safe for many applications including: large-scale immunisation programmes; hospitals; and medical clinic applications.
For more information about Numedico and its medical devices please visit www.numedico.com.au.
Photo from http://www.antarasumbar.com/berita/196212/tim-temui-titik-terang-limbah-medis-pantai.html
Articles reference in the writing of this blog: