The Next Generation of Low Dead Space Disposable Syringes
This image shows what a sharp needle looks like after it is used just once then after being used six times. The BEST practice is to only use the sharp sterile steel needle ONE TIME (as intended by it's manufacturers)...and that is when it is entering a PATIENT. That will ensure that the patient is being injected with the sharpest, most painless, sterile needle possible. It just makes perfect sense to deliver medication this way.
Why should a sterile, perfectly sharp steel needle (which should be for patient use only, FIRST TIME) have to help draw medications into a syringe, work to reconstitute medications, enter into multiple vials to draw medication into a basic syringe ALL before ultimately using that same now DULL needle to enter into a patient? This can cause unnecessary pain on needle insertion, contamination and medication waste. The hypodermic sharp steel needle was created with precision and extreme sharpness to ease pain of insertion and intended for patient insertion only. The SHARP steel needle was created to enter a patients body the FIRST time reducing unnecessary pain. WHY inject a rough used needle into sensitive skin? WHY introduce the possibility for contamination and foreign material into the body.
The above two paragraphs might seem a little redundant but this fact needs to be driven into the minds of medical personnel and patients as it has been overlooked or ignored for over 60 years.
The basic polypropylene syringe is dependent on another product to be functional. The basic polypropylene syringe is barbaric and behind the times. We must find solutions for better patient care.
One such solutions seems to be the pre-filled syringe. Lets take a closer look.
There is a lot of discussion regarding Pre-Filled Syringes along with millions of dollars in marketing. Although with some emergency medications the pre-filled syringe is a great option but when delivering general mass use medication and medications that are delicately measured by a weight based protocol, the pre-filled syringe is a wasteful alternative to its consumer. The pharmaceutical companies will not tell you how much waste is being encountered by nurses wasting portions of pre-filled medications in the sinks of the med rooms on their units.
When using a medication vial the nurse can access just the right amount ordered by the doctor and keep the remaining amount needed for the next ordered dose property labeled in its vial. This is an extreme cost saving for the hospital purchasing departments. The pre-filled syringe has its place for sure but you will NEVER see the statistics of how much waste is taking place by nurses discarding the pre-filled syringes medication to get to the ordered dose by the doctor for injection.
Some nurses have solved this problem by not wanting to waste the medication inside the pre-filled syringe. What they do is open a basic 1cc syringe (3cc, 6cc, etc.) from its package, then transfer/empty ALL of the pre-filled syringe medication into the abutting 1cc syringe then just throw the pre-filled syringe away. The nurse then labels the basic 1, 3, 6cc syringe with the medication now inside the new syringe. Then the nurse can deliver to the patient the correct dose ordered by the MD.
The overall concept of the pre-filled syringe is great, the only thing is that many nurses use that pre-filled syringe a just a BASIC ORDINARY VIAL.
There is a place for the Pre-filled syringe, we just need to pause for a moment and slow down the billion dollar pharmaceutical wave of excitement for all of its intended uses.
Expensive "patented" medications can be packaged in their own "patented" pre-filled syringe device. But when packaging general mass use medications with pre-filled syringes, the cost just doesn't justify their use.