Needle Trap - Effective Protection Against Needlestick Injuries

18 Apr 2008 • by Natalie Aster

REGENSBURG, Germany -- Used cannulas and syringe needles are a constant danger to the staff of physicians' offices, laboratories and hospitals. Gerresheimer Wilden GmbH has developed a needle-protection device that can be manufactured as cheaply as a normal label.

More than 500,000 needlestick injuries occur every year in Germany. The actual puncture injury has a lower danger potential than the high risk of infection, since contaminated blood can still be found on and in the needle. In addition to medical personnel carrying out treatment, workers in the fields of medical technology, cleaning and disposal are also at risk.

Schreiner MediPharm, a specialist in functional labels with additional benefits for the pharmaceutical industry, has developed Needle Trap as an active system for preventing needlestick injuries. Gerresheimer Wilden GmbH was given the task of developing the actual needle-protection element. Robert Licha, Head of Product and Process Management at Schreiner MediPharm, a division of the Schreiner Group GmbH & Co. KG in Oberschleissheim, Germany, said of the contract award, "Gerresheimer Wilden is a recognized supplier of quality products in the medical industry and is known for its great problem-solving expertise". "The range of services available from Gerresheimer Wilden has totally convinced us. Especially our expectations during development were impressively met". The services offered by Gerresheimer Wilden GmbH include the development of the plastic part, mold making and production in controlled.

Herbert Argauer, Team Leader of Medical Technology Product Development at Gerresheimer Wilden GmbH said of the service required: "A special challenge in the development of the plastic part was the design of the rest device. The needle must easily engage in the small prongs of this element, yet be securely retained within it". At present, the pilot plant production is being produced on a prototype tool. Large scale production in the hundreds of millions will take place in controlled area at a DIN ISO 9001 and DIN ISO 13485 certified production site of the Gerresheimer Wilden group.

Glass syringes are filled with a substance by a pharmaceutical company and provided with a label on the packaging line. Simple modifications of the labeling equipment allows the new needle-protection system to be applied like a normal label. This translates to considerable cost advantages, since existing packaging systems can continue to be used without losses in productivity and existing packaging can still be used without being modified. In use, the needle-protection element is first folded away so that the syringe can be used as usual. After being used, it is pressed onto a stable surface with only one hand. At an angle of 45 degrees, the needle audibly engages into the needle-protection device and is now secure. The syringe can be disposed of safely.

Schreiner MediPharm has already applied for certification of Needle Traps by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The new needle-protection system was released for sale in the United States through a "pre-market notification" on January 16th, 2008 after only a 60-day test period. The FDA thus confirmed that the Needle Trap fulfills stringent safety and effectiveness requirements.

Source: Gerresheimer Wilden GmbH