BETHLEHEM, Pa., Feb. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite legislation and continued focus across the U.S. to improve sharps safety, needlestick injuries (NSIs) resulting in the exposure to infectious disease continue to be a major issue facing all healthcare professionals. Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI, who has more than 35 years experience in infusion nursing and adult education, addressed this topic during a B. Braun Medical Inc. (B. Braun) showcase session held during the Association for Vascular Access (AVA) 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting in San Jose, Calif.
"While issues with mucocutaneous blood exposure are also a concern, complications from needlestick injuries remain a top threat to the healthcare community," says Hadaway. "It is clear that the U.S. has made significant improvements surrounding NSIs with the passing of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (NSPA) in 2000, but changes from the Act have not eliminated the problem. There is still work to be done and education of healthcare professional safety remains critical. The good news is there are products available to safeguard against NSIs."
Echoing Hadaway's statements are the findings of a 2011 Infusion Nursing Society member survey on IV catheter related risks conducted by B. Braun, which surveyed more than 750 clinicians, showing that there is still confusion among the medical community on the definition of active vs. passive safety devices and what safety devices are most effective in protecting against NSIs. These findings point to a continuing need to raise awareness for effective tools to prevent NSIs. Supporting this effort, the 2011 Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice, Standard 22, Practice Criteria F states that "The nurse should advocate for passive safety engineered devices for needlestick injury prevention."
Adding a layer of evidence supporting the adoption and use of safety engineered devices to prevent healthcare professional injuries and exposure to blood borne pathogens, the Tosini study a recent landmark study conducted by GERES (Groupe d'Etude sur le Risque d'Exposition des Soignants) confirmed that passive, fully automatic safety devices offer significantly better protection against accidental NSIs than early generation active safety technologies such as semi-automatic (push-button) devices or those with manually sliding shields or hinged caps.
"The Tosini study shows that a passive, fully automatic safety IV catheter is about two times better than an active, semi-automatic 'push-button' safety shield and three times better than a manually sliding shield technology in preventing NSIs," said Tom Sutton, Vice President, Vascular Access and IV Systems for B. Braun Medical Inc. "With products such as B. Braun's Introcan Safety® IV Catheter, for example, all the user has to do is use it, as the safety mechanism does not require any extra steps for activation ultimately mitigating risk for forgetting to make the needle safe."
To view highlights from Lynn Hadaway's session at AVA, please visit here. If you would like more information on how to protect against NSIs or a copy of the Tosini study please click here.
About B. Braun
B. Braun is a leading manufacturer of infusion therapy and pain management products with an environmentally-friendly focus. Guided by the company's "Sharing Expertise®" philosophy,
B. Braun addresses the critical issues of infection prevention, medication safety and environmental responsibility by promoting best practices that help clinicians reduce medication errors, prevent healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) and achieve sustainability objectives.
Consistently recognized by Frost & Sullivan and KLAS for its medical technology and support services, B. Braun employees share their knowledge with colleagues and customers to improve working processes in hospitals and medical practices and to enhance the safety of patients and healthcare professionals. For more information, call 800-227-2862, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit B. Braun at www.bbraunusa.com.
 2011 Infusion Nursing Standards of Practice; section 22 Safe Handling and Disposal of Sharps, Hazardous Materials, and Hazardous Waste (pg P28)
 Needlestick Injury Rates According to Different Types of Safety-Engineered Devices: Results of a French Multicenter Study conducted by GERES (Groupe d'Etude sur le Risque d'Exposition des Soignants aux Agents Infectieux), and published by Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, April 2010; 31:402-407
SOURCE B. Braun