Finally in this week’s healthcare and nursing news is an initiative from the World Health Organization (WHO) trying to rid the world of syringe and needle reuse. This has been dealt with in modern, industrialized countries where we have the luxury of having a seemingly limitless supply of needles and syringes at our disposal. But, in third world nations, this is not the case and needle reuse is common practice in many places spreading diseases and infections rapidly among communities there.

One Time Use Syringe Breaks After Use

TedMed_Syringe_ReuseIn a recent TEDMED presentation, a British inventor by the name of Marc Koska came up with a solution to the problem – a syringe that can’t be reused. Once you depress the syringe plunger to the bottom of the barrel, it locks in place will not be able to be reused. If the plunger is drawn back, it will break off, rendering the needle useless.

The challenge now is to get these needles and others like them out to the communities where this needle reuse is prevalent and use it along with education about cross contamination to eliminate this problem. I urge you to watch the short TEDMED video from this year’s program earlier this month in Washington, DC. It shows hidden video of a nurse reusing the same syringe on multiple patients, one of whom was known to have the HIV infection.

According to the WHO, there are over 1 million deaths worldwide from dirty needles and they alone have caused 23 million hepatitis cases. We can do something about this. When we work with our facilities to donate supplies to third world areas or we visit these places on humanitarian missions, make sure we take these types of self-safing needles with us to leave behind. It is the responsible thing to do.

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Cancer Patient Care Failure Study with Gerard van Grinsven and Episode 312.

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