No Stick

OUR MISSION IS TO CREATE A SAFER WORKPLACE AND REDUCE NEEDLESTICK INJURIES

The LeEject dental safety system was created after the inventor himself sustained needle stick injuries.

Cost and Frequency

The cost of the needlestick injuries was as high as £591 million in 2010. (Biomed. Int’l, 2010, I: 41-49) 645,000 estimated needlestick injuries occurred in the US alone in 2004. (Curr Med Res Opin, 2007 Sep; 23(9):2093-105)

Needlestick Diseases

According to the CDC, 80% of occupationally acquired diseases in the US are transmitted through needlestick injuries.

Cost of a Needlestick

One high-risk accidental needlestick injury costs on average £5,144. (Frost & Sullivan Economic Model, Version 3.1, 2007)

Needlestick Injuries in Dentistry

About 20 percent of the needlestick injuries are sustained by dental professionals. (BMC Public Health 2006, 6: 269)

Who Gets Injured Most?

Dental assistants are ten times more likely to get needlestick injuries than dentists. (BMC Public Health 2006, 6: 269)

Current Situation

CDC and OSHA banned recapping and one hand scoop technique in medicine and nursing, but CDC and OSHA still recommend one hand scoop technique to recap needles in dentistry.


EU Directives

EU directive 2010/32 can be found here: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hsis7.htm

Why Comply?

What if I need to “top up” the LA after the first administration?

There are two routes: 1) re-sheath the needle and put it on the tray and 2) use a fresh needle The new EU directive is clear in that it says that needles should not be re-sheathed. The HSE advice is that needles should not be re-sheathed except in very limited circumstances where it would be safer to re-sheath than not to. Removing the screw on type of dental needle without a sheath is more dangerous, thus it is argued that it is safer to re-sheath. The trouble with this argument is that there are effective alternatives to screw on needles and so the problem can be avoided completely, so the justification is not valid. With safety devices that incorporate a sliding cover such as the Safety Plus™ system, these should be locked when put down, such that they are not capable of being reused, so they too would have to be replaced with a new needle.

Isn’t it expensive and wasteful to use a new needle each time?

If you think of a used needle as a potential biohazard that could end your career, you might be less keen to have them lying around. An average dentist will do about 1500 injections per year. If 10% of the time the injection needs a top up that will be 1500 150 needles extra per year, at the rate of £6.50 per box, say £10 per year. Do you want a biohazard that could end your career lying around in order to save £10 per year?

Can deal with the Directive requirements with a risk assessment?

The HSE clearly state that needles should not be re-sheathed except in limited circumstances and not at all if it can be avoided by safety devices. So to be robust your risk assessment must include looking at possible safety devices. If a device exists that avoids having to re-sheath without a clinical drawback, then it is hard to see how the risk can have been assessed properly if the device is not then used. The only justification for re-sheathing would be where a more pressing safety requirement means that it is essential to re-sheath. Such circumstances are likely to be limited.

If I use a device with a sleeve can I then give multiple injections using the same needle?

The directive states that if a safety device, such as a sleeve is used it has to be difficult to overcome. In other words, once you have used the sleeve the needle can no longer be used, so you need a new needle to add more LA.

Is it not time wasting to put a new needle on if more local is required?

To fit a new LeEject needle takes seconds. The regulations now require sharps bins to be located near to the operator. It should therefore take a matter of seconds, it may even be quicker than conventional screwed on needles as they are quicker to fit.