Liverpool MedTech NeedleSmart is expanding into the US healthcare market.

The company, which has offices in Philadelphia, says it is aiming to protect American healthcare workers and patients from the rising tide of needlestick injuries.

In the US alone, more than one million of these injuries are reported each year, affecting frontline nurses, healthcare workers and patients. However, it may be five times that number due to a culture of underreporting.  

Needlestick injuries are caused when a hypodermic needle accidentally punctures the skin. These injuries can happen at any time, but those with most significant risk occur after exposure to the patient.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that at least 385,000 NSI occur each year to hospital-based healthcare workers, amounting to more than 1,000 NSI per day amongst hospital healthcare staff. 

Many more of those NSI also occur through emergency services, homecare and nursing homes. The CDC has also targeted the elimination of NSI as an agency priority, with both federal and state laws increasing enforcement of NSI injury prevention. 

Over 41% of NSI occur during use, with 41% occurring after use and before disposal, 15% occurring during and after disposal and 4% in other settings.

NeedleSmart is working closely with lawmakers and government agencies in the US to inform, advance and extend legislation that will protect healthcare workers and frontline staff. 

“Needlestick injuries were already  a serious global problem pre COVID-19, with more than three million reported cases each year and rising,” said US-based NeedleSmart COO Michael Barron.

“The introduction of a global vaccination program has added significantly to this, with pandemic NSI statistics yet to be made publicly available.

“With NeedleSmart, we can not only reduce and prevent NSI to key frontline healthcare staff, EMS personnel and patients, but we can increase staff efficiencies  as we link our bespoke software solutions directly to the NeedleSmart Pro hardware and eliminate significant amounts of pre and post procedure administration and in-efficiency.  

“Our audit and compliance software runs alongside the safe destruction technology to create a singular end to end workflow. NeedleSmart will  significantly reduce post-procedural  PPNSI, directly targeting and reducing the $1Bn per year associated costs.”

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The NeedleSmart Pro device destroys a contaminated hypodermic needle in a sealed chamber in just six seconds, minimising post-procedural NSI. The device heats the needle to 2,372 degrees Fahrenheit, killing potentially harmful pathogens, viruses and bacteria adhering to the needle.  

Within seconds, the needle is compressed into a tiny ball and released from the NeedleSmart device as a safe sphere of metal at the tip of the syringe.