A company develops a new Safe Sharps Management product line to help reduce sharps injuries and liability in the operating room

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) 39 percent of all surgical scalpel injuries are inflicted by the user on the assistant. For hospitals and surgical centers aiming to minimize accidental scalpel cuts, needle sticks, and other such hazards in the OR, Advanced Medical Innovations (AMI) offers its Safe Sharps Management product line.

The Safe Sharps Management product line consists of six products:

  1. Sharps Safety Station™: a unique needle counter box.
  2. Neutray™ Sharps Passing Tray.
  3. Retractable Saf-T-Scalpel™.
  4. Reusable Saf-T-Scalpel™.
  5. Scalpel Shield: An autoclavable Magnetic Mat
  6. Disposable Magnetic Drapes. 

These items are available separately, but work in conjunction as an integrated system of protection.

The foundation of the system is the Sharps Safety Station. It guards against the 8 percent of needle sticks that occur when sharps boxes open in the disposal bag and is designed as a secure, sterile, surgical sharps control, collection and disposal unit. Three safety hinges can be unhinged without breaking for easy separation into two half boxes, for saving space. Overlapping walls keep the sharps securely in each box, while auto-lock snaps can easily close and reopen the Sharps Safety Station for recount. 

With space to safely hold two scalpels in the scalpel shield, it includes a built-in user-friendly scalpel blade remover, and two syringe needle recapper/exchangers for one-hand operation. Once the surgical procedure has been completed, the unit serves as a compact, secure sharps disposal container.

The exchange of needle holders with needles accounts for 17 percent of sharps injuries in the OR. The Neutray™ Sharps Passing Tray reduces this threat by enabling the safe, hands-free transfer of most sharps during surgery between the surgeon and scrub nurse, and in other procedures. A patented, lightweight, single use device, it provides a safe “neutral zone” for the passing of sharps, including scalpels, blades, needle holder with needles, syringes, scissors, k-wires and trocars to name a few.

With this tray, all instruments have a specific slot or cavity to nestle in, allowing safe, one-hand passing. The lower pick-up area in the center, away from the sharp point of the instrument, protects the practitioner’s hands from injury and contaminated instruments. Ergonomic handles underneath and on all four sides accommodate both right and left-hand use. Two trays can be interconnected as an option for hands-free needle exchange.

Since unprotected or partially exposed scalpel blades are a hazard and manually operated, plastic protective sleeves are subject to human error, the single-use Retractable Saf-T-Scalpel is designed for ultimate protection of practitioners’ hands during surgery or other procedures. Activated with a simple thumb push until the tabs latch, retraction requires pushing two buttons simultaneously, which eliminates accidental retractions that can cause injury.

For added safety, button placement ensures that fingers are well away from the blade during activation and retraction. The blade snaps into a permanent locking position after final use with an audible click for failsafe disposal.  Ribbed, slip-resistant finger grips allow a secure hold in wet, gloved hands, while finger stabilizing ribs on both sides ensure stable use for right and left-handed people.

For those who would prefer a reusable safety scalpel with the standard scalpel blades, the AMI reusable Saf-T-Scalpel™ is identical to the standard scalpel handle used routinely in surgery with a thin metal guard to cover the blade while passing it to the surgeon within the Neutray™.  It is reusable and sterilizable by autoclaving.  The disposable blade is safely removed hands-free by the guard for secure disposal in the Sharps Safety Station™ box.

To reduce accidental sharps injuries due to misplaced scalpels, AMI’s Scalpel Shield provides a “parking place” for secure storage of up to three scalpels of any size.  Ensuring safe scalpel placement and retrieval in the “upright” position, its compact size is ideal for the mayo stand.  For greater safety, an adhesive tab secures it in the sterile field.
The Sharps Safety Station™ also provides a “parking place” for secure storage of up to two scalpels of any size.

A reusable, autoclavable, surgical Magnetic Mat prevents instruments from falling off the OR’s sterile field, and can be used as a safe, hands-free transfer area.  Its raised round magnets make instruments easier to grasp.  Easily cleaned with gas or steam sterilization, it is stable when fastened to the surgical drape with a towel clamp.

AMI also offers Magnetic Drapes for all surgical procedures.  These disposable, single use magnetic drapes can be used as a hands-free “neutral zone” transfer area. The Neutray™ can be used over the magnetic mat/drape with a metal option or on the drape with an adhesive option or as a mobile unit.

For hospitals and surgical centers aiming to minimize accidental sharps injuries and potential liability, the new Safe Sharps Management product line is an important tool, whether used as individual products or as part of a comprehensive program of injury prevention.