Passive Safety Devices Are Most Effective in Needlestick Injury Prevention

This study documents the use of over 22 million intravascular catheters used in 61 French hospitals during a two year period in a first head-to-head comparison of safety-engineered devices. The Needlestick  injury (NSI) rate for passive or fully automatic devices studied was 1.31 per 100,000 devices used , compared with 2.54 per 100,000 devices used for semi-automatic (push button) technology and 4.34 per 100,000 devices used for manually sliding shield technology. 


The study concludes that passive safety engineered devices are more effective than active devices for NSI prevention and referenced that with  semi-automatic or sliding shield devices, healthcare workers can choose whether or not to operate the safety features. Passive, fully automatic devices, on the other hand “require no input from the user”, and “eliminate the need for elaborate training”

Ref: “Needlestick Injury Rates According to Different Types of Safety-Engineered Devices: Results of a French Multicenter Study” (Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology April 2010 issue)