Safety Engineered Devices: Use and Activation in USA


Authors:   Grimmond T 

Publication:   Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare 2014; 34 (1): Pages 13-15



What was the study? 

The study ‘Use and activation of safety engineered sharps devices in a sample of 5 Florida healthcare facilities’ took a sampling of sharps containers from five facilities in Florida. Contents were decanted, categorised and counted to identify the proportion of hollow-bore SED among the sharps present, and the proportion of SED correctly activated.

What were the results?

69 Gallons of sharps (89.5 Pounds) from 18 sharps containers were examined. The results culled from the sharps containers concluded that :

  • 54.4% of hollow-bore sharps were conventional (non SED) sharps
  • 39.9% of conventional needles were capped
  • 45.6% of hollow-bore sharps were SED
  • 21.6% of SED were not activated or activated incorrectly
  • 42.5% of all devices were discarded ‘sharp’

It is disturbing that 39.9% of conventional needles were capped prior to discard, and 42.5% of all devices were discarded as 'naked' sharps. In this sampling it is of concern that 12 years after U.S. SED legislation, 64.3% of healthcare professionals placed themselves at risk by capping or discarding naked needles. Many non-activated phlebotomy devices were visibly blood-contaminated."



View Publication            Access Author's Copy


Header Image: 
Header Style: