Companies Form Needlestick Prevention Alliance
Six companies that have "pioneered" safe needle technology announced Tuesday the formation of the National Alliance for the Primary Prevention of Sharps Injuries, founded to "eliminate or reduce the need to introduce sharps, such as needles and scalpels, into the health care workplace." The founding companies include Venetec International, Cell Robotics International, Bioject Medical Technologies, ICU Medical Inc., ALARIS Medical Systems Inc. and Equidyne Systems Inc. The creation of NAPPSI was spurred by the recent passage of the federal Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, which mandates that health care employers adhere to safety standards to protect health care workers against sharps injuries. These injuries cause about three dozen health care workers to contract HIV each year, in addition to 2,000 hepatitis C infections and 400 hepatitis B infections. About 800,000 sharps injuries occur annually, and treatment of such injuries can cost $3,000 or more per person. Ron Stoker, NAPPSI's executive director, said, "NAPPSI is designed to be both an informational clearinghouse and an outspoken advocate for primary prevention of common workplace dangers faced by nurses, doctors and others" (NAPPSI release, 1/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.