November 21, 2014
Suffering an injury from a needle or other medical sharp can be a devastating incident for any healthcare worker, and remains one of the most prevalent hazards for people in the medical sector. Carrying the risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens, time away from work and emotional distress, it is something that all nurses, doctors and other staff want to avoid where possible, but this is a challenge in the fast-paced environment of a hospital.
There is also pressure on the healthcare organisation themselves, who can experience a loss in productivity from the affected worker who will undergo further tests and could even have to take time off work. There is also the threat of litigation if the company has not taken all the necessary steps to prevent such an injury from happening.
Most hospitals now have a legal responsibility to ensure that healthcare workers are using safety-engineered devices wherever feasible to do so. This means devices like the Jelco IntuitIV Safety IV Catheter have become crucial in the battle to ensure that no person is injured from medical sharps in the workplace.
Manufactured in Italy, the instrument is specifically designed to minimise the risk of needlestick injury for healthcare workers. It is estimated that there are around 3.5 million incidents each year, with many of these injuries being attributed to the use of IV catheters.
As these devices consist of a length of tubing and an access port through which fluid or medication can be delivered straight to a patient's bloodstream, there are several points of application that put the worker at risk.
The catheter is placed directly into a blood vessel on a guide needle and when in position, the needle is removed from the blood vessel. With a traditional IV catheter, this needle - covered with potentially dangerous blood - is left exposed until it is properly disposed of. This puts the healthcare worker at a huge risk of suffering an injury, with just a moment's lapse in concentration or a sudden move from the patient needed to incur an incident.
This style of instrument also puts anyone in the near-by area at risk of being exposed to bloodborne pathogens, which could include relatives, patients, other members of staff or a completely innocent by-stander.
If this occurs, a number of things have to happen. Once the wound is rinsed and dressed, the victim will then need to be tested for a number of bloodborne infections. If the person has contracted an infection, they must take further steps that are likely to have a long-term impact on their health and quality of life.
Although it would be impossible to not have catheters at all, and thereby prevent healthcare workers from being exposed to any risk, safety IV catheters make the procedure substantially safer.
Equipped with safety mechanisms that either shield or encapsulate the sharp tip of the guide needle, safety catheters have become a popular way for organisations to better protect their staff.
Even leading bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) have encouraged the use of safety devices like the Jelco IntuitIV Safety IV Catheter for safeguarding staff from sharp injuries. The Jelco IntuitIV Safety IV Catheter is a industry-leading device, thanks to its safety mechanism, which automatically activates when the guide needle is removed.