Anzen http://anzenscalpel.com Anzen Safety Scalpel | Surgical Scalpel Mon, 13 Nov 2017 19:56:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 Is Sharps Safety Really That Important? http://anzenscalpel.com/sharps-safety-really-important/ Sun, 12 Nov 2017 21:52:04 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=619 By: Adeline Yi, Anzen™ Product Manager We are all familiar with OSHA as well as the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act which help keep workplaces such as yours a safer place. But is sharps safety really all that important? Or is it just more bureaucracy and paperwork for all of us? To answer that question, let […]

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By: Adeline Yi, Anzen™ Product Manager

We are all familiar with OSHA as well as the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act which help keep workplaces such as yours a safer place. But is sharps safety really all that important? Or is it just more bureaucracy and paperwork for all of us?

To answer that question, let us take a look at some numbers in this second part of our five-part series on sharps safety. Reports estimate that as many as 17 percent of sharps injuries are caused by scalpels. In fact, a study found that for every 100,000 scalpels used, there were 662 incidences of injury while there were only 3.2 syringe and needle injuries.

Aside from the sharps statistics, it is more important to understand the consequences of these injuries. Sharps injuries can have a major and unnecessary impact on healthcare facility costs. Immediate and follow up treatment for exposed employees was reported to cost from $71 to $5,000 per case.

Sharps injuries can also have an impact on the injured party. The injured worker faces uncertainty surrounding their infection status during the initial stages of the injury and then may have to face life-changing consequences if they’ve developed a disease. This understandably causes severe emotional and psychological trauma.

So to answer the question: is sharps safety really that important? We believe the answer should be yes, and we hope you agree with us too.

For more information about our Anzen™ Safety Scalpel, click here to contact us or request samples.

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Have You Ever Witnessed a Scalpel Injury? http://anzenscalpel.com/ever-witnessed-scalpel-injury/ Tue, 31 Oct 2017 21:49:59 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=616 By: Adeline Yi, Anzen™ Product Manager Did you know that since the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act was signed into law in November 2006, sharps injuries in nonsurgical settings dropped by almost a third, while injuries increased by 6.5% in surgical settings? In a survey of more than 200 nurses, 83% of OR nurses have personally […]

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By: Adeline Yi, Anzen™ Product Manager

Did you know that since the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act was signed into law in November 2006, sharps injuries in nonsurgical settings dropped by almost a third, while injuries increased by 6.5% in surgical settings?

In a survey of more than 200 nurses, 83% of OR nurses have personally witnessed or experienced a scalpel-related injury, yet only 33% reported that safety scalpels were being used in their facility.

Widespread adoption of safety scalpels is difficult to achieve if facilities are not on board. In our survey of surgeons at the American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) Clinical Congress 2016, 65% of respondents said that their facility does not use a safety scalpel. Yet, 76% of respondents said they would use a safety scalpel if they were offered at their facility.

Similar results were found at the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association’s (ASCA) 2016 annual meeting where 61% of respondents stated that their facilities do not use safety scalpels.

This was further validated at the OR Manager 30th Annual Conference 2017, where 14 out of 30 respondents polled said that their facility does not use safety scalpels, even though 87% of respondents had witnessed a sharps injury occurring.

Feedback thus far is clear: end users are interested in adopting safety scalpels. The industry challenge is to introduce better safety scalpels into their facilities.

As such, it is our mission, with the creation of the Anzen™ Safety Scalpel, to help reduce the number of sharps injuries by educating decision makers on the importance of adopting safety scalpels as well as to provide surgeons with the first safety scalpel encompassing all of the needed safety features without compromising the ease of use and feel they require.

For more information about our Anzen™ Safety Scalpel, click here to contact us or request samples.

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Surgeons, Techs and OR Nurses Validate Anzen™ Scalpel Ease of Use http://anzenscalpel.com/surgeons-techs-nurses-validate-anzen-scalpel-ease-use/ Mon, 16 Oct 2017 22:31:24 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=608 By: Adeline Yi, Anzen™ Product Manager 97% rate the scalpel “Easy to use” The Anzen™ Scalpel was specifically designed for ease of use, in response to the needs expressed by surgeons, surgical techs, and OR nurses for a safety scalpel that’s less cumbersome to operate. In numerous national surveys, surgeons have emphasized the necessity for a […]

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By: Adeline Yi, Anzen™ Product Manager

97% rate the scalpel “Easy to use”

The Anzen™ Scalpel was specifically designed for ease of use, in response to the needs expressed by surgeons, surgical techs, and OR nurses for a safety scalpel that’s less cumbersome to operate. In numerous national surveys, surgeons have emphasized the necessity for a blade that can be exposed or concealed with one hand, without looking at the scalpel. Techs and nurses have focused on their need for safe and easy assembly and removal1.  MediPurpose now has 2 years’ worth of data, gathered from simulated use testing while designing and developing its new safety scalpel, showing that Anzen™ is meeting those needs.

A resounding “Yes”

MediPurpose has given surgeons, techs, and nurses an opportunity to test the scalpel over the past two years, to validate whether the device is as easy to use as the manufacturer claims. The answer has been a resounding “Yes.”

“The Anzen™ blade is extremely easy to use in all respects. The profile is well designed and the handling is great. I would use product as-is.” — response from surgeon

From 2015 to 2017 MediPurpose invited users to try out the scalpel on a silicone pad, made specially to simulate the human skin. The company collected responses from 105 surgeons, techs, and nurses from at least 44 different medical institutions—some directly through their institutions, and some at trade shows like ASCA 2016. The responses were consistently positive:

Claim Strongly Agree or Agree
It is easy to learn how to use the Anzen™ device. 96.6%
The handle is easy to insert into the cartridge. 92.2%
The blade can be exposed with just one hand. 93.2%
The blade can be exposed without looking at the scalpel. 88.1%
The blade can be covered with just one hand. 98.3%
The blade can be covered without looking at the scalpel. 89.8%
The cartridge is easily detached from the handle when the blade is fully covered. 97.4%

“I’ve had problems removing traditional blades where the blade actually shot across the room — it was very scary and possibly dangerous! The Anzen™ blade is safe and especially easy to remove.” — response from nurse

Just like a box cutter, the Anzen™ blade can be extended and retracted using one hand, without the need to look at it. Safety features also protect surgical techs and nurses from sharps injuries during blade assembly and removal: The blade can only be exposed when the cartridge is mounted on the scalpel handle, and the blade cannot be removed unless it is retracted into the cartridge.

“The Anzen™ blade is very user-friendly and much safer than a conventional blade. The mechanism is very smooth — I was able to open and close it with one hand.” — response from surgical tech

Having received such encouraging feedback during simulated use, MediPurpose will now begin product evaluations within the OR setting at select hospitals. The company expects that once OR personnel recognize how easy it use to use the Anzen™ scalpel, they will begin incorporating this vital safety device into their operating rooms.

For more information, visit www.anzenscalpel.com


1 Stoker R. Are Safety Scalpels Making the Cut With Surgeons and Nurses? Outpatient Surgery Magazine 2011.

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Protecting Personnel From Injury on the Front Lines http://anzenscalpel.com/protecting-personnel-injury-front-lines/ Wed, 27 Sep 2017 21:00:49 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=597 By: Adeline Yi, Anzen™ Product Manager Anzen™ Safety Scalpel is designed to meet the needs of OR nurses and surgical techs Our previous post detailed the dangers of sharps injuries to surgical techs and OR nurses—and the distressing impact these injuries can have on their lives. Surgical techs and nurses are responsible for handling a scalpel […]

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By: Adeline Yi, Anzen™ Product Manager

Anzen™ Safety Scalpel is designed to meet the needs of OR nurses and surgical techs

Our previous post detailed the dangers of sharps injuries to surgical techs and OR nurses—and the distressing impact these injuries can have on their lives.

Surgical techs and nurses are responsible for handling a scalpel from the time it comes out of the box until the time of its disposal. They are particularly vulnerable to injury while assembling, passing, or removing the instrument.

The features that techs and nurses want most in a safety scalpel are somewhat different from those needed by surgeons, whose chief concerns are a scalpel’s weight and balance. By contrast, surgical techs and OR nurses voiced a need for:

  • Blade cartridges that are safe to assemble and remove
  • Blade cartridges that are easy to assemble and remove1

 

Anzen™ Safety Scalpel responds to nurse and tech concerns

 

MediPurpose worked closely with surgical techs and scrub nurses to develop its new Anzen™ Safety Scalpel. Click here to see how easy it is to assemble and disassemble the Anzen™ Safety Scalpel. In response to their feedback, the scalpel also incorporates these features:

  • A disposable cartridge integrates the slider, shield, and sterile blade. The protected blade stays retracted while attaching and detaching the cartridge
  • A cartridge lock prevents blade exposure unless the cartridge is attached to the handle
  • A second lock prevents cartridge detachment when the blade is exposed
  • The blade is exposed/retracted by DEPRESSING the button BUT the cartridge is detached by LIFTING the release tab so the surgeon will NOT accidentally detach the cartridge
  • Disposal has been made safer as well. The Anzen™ blade can only be disposed when retracted, and the cartridge locks for disposal.
  • Unlike other safety scalpels on the market, the blades are fully protected when opening the box
  • Assembly is easy: The cartridge simply slides onto the handle until it locks into place, with no extra equipment needed
  • Blade removal is also easy: The user simply lifts the release tab and slides the cartridge out
  • Nurses and surgical techs can be assured that Anzen™’s durable cartridge will not come apart during blade removal or replacement.

MediPurpose remains committed to meeting the needs of the entire surgical team.


1 Stoker R. Are Safety Scalpels Making the Cut With Surgeons and Nurses? Outpatient Surgery Magazine 2011.

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Surgical Techs and Nurses Weigh in on Their Need for Better Safety Scalpels http://anzenscalpel.com/surgical-techs-nurses-weigh-need-better-safety-scalpels/ Fri, 25 Aug 2017 05:44:03 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=582 By: Adeline Yi, Anzen™ Product Manager Our previous post detailed surgeons’ unmet needs for an acceptable safety scalpel. But surgeons are not the only OR personnel voicing a need for better safety scalpels. OR nurses and surgical techs are calling for safety scalpels that are safer and easier to use—for good reason. They are the ones […]

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By: Adeline Yi, Anzen™ Product Manager

Our previous post detailed surgeons’ unmet needs for an acceptable safety scalpel. But surgeons are not the only OR personnel voicing a need for better safety scalpels.

OR nurses and surgical techs are calling for safety scalpels that are safer and easier to use—for good reason. They are the ones on the front lines for injury.

In an analysis of percutaneous injuries from 87 U.S. hospitals, reported in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 75% of sharps injuries occurred during the passing of devices. While surgeons and residents were most often the original users of these devices, nurses and surgical technicians were typically the people sustaining the injuries1.

 

Data from large, multihospital surveillance networks and national surveys demonstrate the impact of sharps injuries on surgical techs and nurses:

  • A recent MediPurpose survey of more than 200 nurses revealed that fully 83% of OR nurses had personally witnessed a scalpel-related injury. Of those injuries, 36% happened to the nurses themselves, while 41% were incurred by surgical techs, and 23% by surgeons.
  • Data from the Massachusetts Sharps Injury Surveillance System revealed that 41% of sharps injuries were sustained by nurses, 21% by surgical techs and 29% by surgeons2.
  • Nurses also incurred the largest share of sharps injuries (34%) in 2007 data from the EPINet Sharps Injury Surveillance research group (EPINet-SIS), followed by doctors at 32%3.

 

The economic and emotional impact on injured personnel is significant. In a survey of nurses injured by sharps in 381 different US hospitals:

    • Nurses missed 88 days of work as a direct result of their injury
    • 42% felt anxious, depressed, or stressed4

In a related study of 634 nurses in western Europe and Russia, nurses who experienced needlestick injuries suffered depression, crying spells, family tension, relationship difficulties, panic attacks, and an inability to work5.

 

What’s missing from safety scalpels?

Nurses and assistants—who are responsible for handling a scalpel both before and after its use—have expressed strong opinions of what they need in a safety scalpel. While surgeons’ requirements centered around the instrument’s weight and balance, nurses and techs were particularly concerned with safety and ease of use:

    • Nearly three-quarters of nurses expressed a desire for blade cartridges that are safe to assemble or remove
    • Two-thirds wanted blade cartridges that are easy to assemble or remove6

MediPurpose remains committed to meeting the needs of the entire surgical team, including technicians and nurses. The company’s new Anzen™ safety scalpel was designed with the whole team in mind.


1 Jagger J, Berguer R, Phillips EK,  et al. Increase in Sharps Injuries in Surgical Settings Versus Nonsurgical Settings After Passage of National Needlestick Legislation. J Am Coll Surg; 2010(4):496-502.

2 Massachusetts Department of Public Health Occupational Health Program. Sharps Injuries among Employees of Acute Care Hospitals in Massachusetts, 2002-2007. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 2011;32(6):538-44.

3 International Healthcare Worker Safety Center, University of Virginia. U.S. EPINet Sharps Injury and Blood and Body Fluid Exposure Surveillance Research Group. Sharps Injury Data Report for 2007; 29 hospitals contributing data, 951 total injuries. Report available at https://www.medicalcenter.virginia.edu/epinet/epinet-2007-rates.pdf.

4 Lee JM, Botteman MF, Nicklasson L, et al. Needlestick injury in acute care nurses caring for patients with diabetes mellitus: a retrospective study. Curr Med Res Opin 2005 741-747.

5 Costigliola V, Frid A, Letondeur C, Strauss K (2012) Needlestick injuries in European nurses in diabetes. Diabetes and Metabolism. 38, Suppl 1, S9-S14.

6 Stoker R. Are Safety Scalpels Making the Cut With Surgeons and Nurses? Outpatient Surgery Magazine 2011.

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New Safety Scalpel Mimics Feel and Function of Traditional Scalpels http://anzenscalpel.com/new-safety-scalpel-mimics-feel-function-traditional-scalpels/ Fri, 11 Aug 2017 05:46:24 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=532 By: Adeline Yi, Anzen™ Product Manager Our last blog post reported on surgeons’ inability to find a safety scalpel that they could use with confidence. National surveys show that surgeons are resistant to adopting the use of safety scalpels because they’ve been unable to identify an acceptable model. In response to the models they’d tried, surgeons criticized […]

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By: Adeline Yi, Anzen™ Product Manager

Our last blog post reported on surgeons’ inability to find a safety scalpel that they could use with confidence. National surveys show that surgeons are resistant to adopting the use of safety scalpels because they’ve been unable to identify an acceptable model.

In response to the models they’d tried, surgeons criticized the feel of the safety scalpels; specifically, their weight and balance. Some safety scalpels obstructed their line of sight, they reported, and some had safety sheaths or activation methods that were difficult to manipulate.

Designing the ideal safety scalpel

In developing the new Anzen safety scalpel, MediPurpose worked closely with surgeons and surgical techs, inviting their input and incorporating their feedback. Surgeons made their specifications clear. To meet their criteria, a safety scalpel would need:  

  • The same weight, balance, and sharpness as a traditional non-safety scalpel
  • A shield that does not obstruct line of sight
  • An easy-to-operate blade that can be exposed or concealed without looking at the scalpel
  • A safety mechanism that can be operated single-handedly—with either hand

An intuitive design with a familiar feel

In response, the Anzen safety scalpel was engineered with a reusable, stainless steel handleThat gives the Anzen scalpel a weight and balance that is similar to a traditional scalpel, so that surgeons will feel comfortable with its familiar feel and control.

The Anzen scalpel has a protected blade that is easily exposed and retracted with one hand. Surgeons find the mechanism intuitive, because it exposes and retracts the blade like a familiar box cutter. In addition, its slim cartridge design allows for an unobstructed view of the incision site.

Key safety measures have been incorporated into the design of the Anzen scalpel. A disposable cartridge integrates the slider, shield, and sterile blade. The protected blade stays retracted while attaching and detaching the cartridge. A cartridge lock prevents blade exposure unless the cartridge is attached to the handle, and another lock prevents cartridge detachment when the blade is exposed. The blade is exposed/retracted by DEPRESSING the button BUT the cartridge is detached by LIFTING the release tab so the surgeon will NOT accidentally detach the cartridge.

Disposal has been made safer as well. The Anzen cartridge can only be disposed when the blade is retracted, and the cartridge locks again for disposal.

MediPurpose designed the Anzen safety scalpel to mimic the weight and feel of a traditional scalpel, but with the features needed to help protect healthcare workers from sharps injuries. Mirroring the standard weight and feel was critical in order to create a scalpel that surgeons could transition to seamlessly. The company expects that surgeons’ acceptance of the Anzen scalpel will help operating rooms across the country meet safety standards and reduce sharps incidents.

 

For more information, visit www.anzenscalpel.com

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Will Metal Handles Finally Make Safety Scalpels Acceptable to Surgeons? http://anzenscalpel.com/will-metal-handles-finally-make-safety-scalpels-acceptable-surgeons/ Mon, 24 Jul 2017 19:24:13 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=510 By: Adeline Yi, AnzenTM Product Manager Surgeons’ well-documented dissatisfaction with safety scalpels has been attributed to a number of factors—chief among them, the unfamiliar weight and feel of the models they’ve tried. Nationwide surveys show that most surgeons are unwilling to use safety scalpels because they have not found a model that is weighted and balanced […]

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By: Adeline Yi, AnzenTM Product Manager

Surgeons’ well-documented dissatisfaction with safety scalpels has been attributed to a number of factors—chief among them, the unfamiliar weight and feel of the models they’ve tried. Nationwide surveys show that most surgeons are unwilling to use safety scalpels because they have not found a model that is weighted and balanced like a traditional scalpel1.

Unfortunately, the majority of safety scalpels currently available to surgeons have plastic handles and do not have the same weight and balance as a traditional scalpel. But surgeons may be unaware that a small percentage of safety scalpels are now available with a reusable metal handle that offers the familiar weight and balance they’re looking for.

They may not realize that there are now models with metal handles that can give them the same comfort and control as a traditional scalpel. Safety scalpels with metal handles are also more cost efficient than plastic, as they create less waste.

Percentage of market share based on Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX) 2013 data

The new Anzen™ safety scalpel was engineered with a reusable, stainless steel handle so that surgeons can use it with comfort and confidence. Nationwide, operating rooms lag behind other hospital departments in adopting the safety measures mandated by the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 20002. The introduction of metal handles may prove to be the innovation surgeons need to embrace safety scalpel technology.


1International Sharps Injury Prevention Society (ISIPS) – Outpatient Magazine survey

2Jagger J, Berguer R, Phillips EK, et al. Increase in Sharps Injuries in Surgical Settings Versus Nonsurgical Settings After Passage of National Needlestick Legislation. J Am Coll Surg; 210(4):496-502.

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Why are Surgeons Shunning Safety Scalpels? http://anzenscalpel.com/surgeons-shunning-safety-scalpels/ Fri, 07 Jul 2017 18:43:34 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=500 By: Adeline Yi, AnzenTM Product Manager It’s been 17 years since the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act required hospitals to adopt new safety technologies, and most hospital departments have embraced these measures—except for operating rooms. ORs face even greater risks than other departments, with the potential for scalpels to cause deeper and more serious wounds. Yet […]

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By: Adeline Yi, AnzenTM Product Manager

It’s been 17 years since the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act required hospitals to adopt new safety technologies, and most hospital departments have embraced these measures—except for operating rooms.

ORs face even greater risks than other departments, with the potential for scalpels to cause deeper and more serious wounds. Yet nationwide, the conversion to safety scalpels has been painfully slow1. What’s the holdup?

Simply put, surgeons don’t like them. In a study of 186 OR clinicians conducted jointly by Outpatient Surgery Magazine and the International Sharps Injury Prevention Society (ISIPS) in 2011, up to 60% of respondents reported that safety scalpels were not being used in their facility1. Similar results were reported in a 2016 survey by MediPurpose at the American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) Clinical Congress: 65% of respondents said their facilities did not use safety scalpels, primarily because they had not found an acceptable model.

Surgeons cite unmet needs

Surgeons complained that the safety scalpels they’d tried came up short on usability and comfort. Specifically, survey respondents cited these objections1:

  • They didn’t like the general feel of the safety scalpel (84%)
  • They had specific complaints about its weight, balance, or line of sight (52%)
  • They had difficulty with safety sheath (25%)
  • The activation method was cumbersome (35%)

65% of survey respondents reported that their facility had not found an acceptable brand/model of safety scalpel.

 

What are surgeons’ unmet needs?

In the ISIPS survey, surgeons described their ideal safety scalpel—one with the tactile and operational qualities they would need to feel confident using it:

  • The same weight, balance, and sharpness as a traditional non-safety scalpel
  • A shield that does not obstruct line of sight
  • An easy-to-operate blade that can be exposed or concealed without looking at the scalpel
  • A safety mechanism that can be operated single-handedly—with either hand

The challenge is clear: To speed the adoption of safety scalpels, new models must do a better job of meeting surgeons’ needs.


1 Stoker, R. Are Safety Scalpels Making the Cut with Surgeons and Nurses. Outpatient Surgery; 2011.

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Survey of OR Nurses Reveals Startling Rates of Scalpel-Related Injuries http://anzenscalpel.com/survey-nurses-reveals-startling-rates-scalpel-related-injuries/ Thu, 01 Jun 2017 23:01:18 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=490 By: Patrick Yi, CEO of MediPurpose From their vantage point in the operating room, OR nurses see everything—including a startling number of injuries from sharp instruments.  A new survey of more than 200 nurses revealed that fully 83% of OR nurses had personally witnessed a scalpel-related injury.  Of those injuries, 36% happened to the nurses […]

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By: Patrick Yi, CEO of MediPurpose

From their vantage point in the operating room, OR nurses see everything—including a startling number of injuries from sharp instruments.  A new survey of more than 200 nurses revealed that fully 83% of OR nurses had personally witnessed a scalpel-related injury.  Of those injuries, 36% happened to the nurses themselves, while 41% were incurred by surgical techs, and 23% by surgeons.

The survey was conducted by MediPurpose at the AORN Global Surgical Conference and Expo in Boston, April 1-5, 2017, which drew nearly 6,000 attendees.  AORN is a non-profit membership association that provides nursing education, standards, and clinical practice resources for its 41,000 members.

Nurses know about safety scalpels, but their facilities don’t use them

Seventy-seven percent of survey respondents said they were aware of the existence of safety scalpels, and 44% had personal experience using them.  Yet only 33% reported that safety scalpels were used at their facility.

This disturbing statistic is consistent with other reports that—despite being mandated by the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2000—safety scalpels have not been adopted by most operating rooms.  In the years following that legislation, sharps injuries in nonsurgical settings dropped by almost a third, while injuries increased by 6.5% in surgical settings 1.

Does your facility use safety scalpels?

 

Why don’t more facilities use safety scalpels?

The MediPurpose survey suggests that most facilities appreciate the importance of using safety scalpels: only 13.4% of respondents said their facility “does not recognize the value of/need for safety scalpels.” Instead, respondents attributed their facility’s failure to adopt safety scalpels to:

  • Being generally resistant to change (33.5%)
  • Being slow to adopt new technology (23.4%)
  • Having been unable to find an acceptable safety scalpel (29.7%)

Surgeons’ beliefs may also be a barrier to adopting the use of safety scalpels. According to medical literature, surgeons in the past have sometimes objected that safety scalpels feel too light or flimsy, don’t fit their hands well, cut poorly, or obstruct their view of the incision 2. 

Surgeons, techs, and other staff reveal similar concerns

Data from the AORN survey echo results from other research the MediPurpose team has been conducting at conferences across the world. In May 2016, at the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association’s (ASCA) annual meeting in Dallas, surgeons, surgical techs, directors, finance/purchasing personnel and administrative staff were questioned about safety scalpels. In response:

  • 69% said they had witnessed a scalpel-related injury
  • 61% reported that their facilities did not use safety scalpels
  • 50% had not been able to find an acceptable safety scalpel model

A MediPurpose survey at the American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) Clinical Congress in Washington, DC., yielded similar results: 65% of surgeons said that their facility did not use safety scalpels—and 76% said they would use safety scalpels if they were available.

Click here for more details about the ASCA survey and here for more details about the ACS survey.


1 Jagger J, Berguer R, Phillips EK,  et al. Increase in Sharps Injuries in Surgical Settings Versus Nonsurgical Settings After Passage of National Needlestick Legislation. J Am Coll Surg; 210(4):496-502.

2 Stoker RL, Davis MS. The Economic Argument for Using Safety Scalpels. The Surgical Technologist, September 2015:401-406.

 

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Putting Two and Two Together: How Sharps Safety Saves You Money http://anzenscalpel.com/putting-two-two-together-sharps-safety-saves-money/ Tue, 07 Mar 2017 14:55:44 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=398 By: Adeline Yi, Anzen Product Manager Throughout this series we have examined the need for the adoption of sharps safety practices and tools in the healthcare industry, as well as the consequences that result from the industry’s slow adoption. We’ve learned that sharps injuries are still prevalent today, especially in surgical settings where they have increased […]

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By: Adeline Yi, Anzen Product Manager

Throughout this series we have examined the need for the adoption of sharps safety practices and tools in the healthcare industry, as well as the consequences that result from the industry’s slow adoption. We’ve learned that sharps injuries are still prevalent today, especially in surgical settings where they have increased by 6.5 percent since the enactment of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2001. However, this figure does not include the number of injuries that go unreported each year, which is estimated to account for 50 percent of all sharps injuries.

The noticeable increase in injuries in surgical settings is a result of the industry’s slow adoption of safety scalpels, which is estimated to be less than 10 percent. Through our own research, we have discovered the lack of adoption is due to facilities’ slow implementation of new technology in general and a feeling that there have not been any acceptable safety scalpels to replace current options that are available.

In this series, we have also learned that sharps injuries – particularly scalpel injuries – have very serious consequences. Sharps injuries can have a major and negative impact on the financial, physical and mental well-being of the injured party and a financial impact on the healthcare facility.

With an estimated 1,000 sharps injuries occurring each day, U.S. hospitals experience an extra $1 billion in unnecessary annual costs. This startling figure does not include the indirect costs that are associated with sharps injuries like loss of productivity, as well as the time and resources a healthcare provider must spend evaluating, testing and treating the injured party. In addition, those who experience a sharps injury also pay a mental cost. In fact, those who are injured by a scalpel are more likely to face severe emotional and psychological effects.

In a report published by The Surgical Technologist, Ron Stoker, the founder and executive director of the International Sharps Injury Prevention Society (ISIPS), and Mark Davis, MD, a gynecologic surgeon and OR safety consultant, examine the economic argument for the use of safety scalpels. The detailed report discusses:

  • The long-standing problem of sharps injuries and those caused by scalpels
  • The financial, emotional and physical toll they take
  • Why there has not been universal adoption of safety scalpels among surgeons
  • The cost of safety scalpels compared to conventional scalpels

Interestingly, the report from Stoker and Davis found that operating room scalpel injuries indirectly increase the cost of purchased conventional blades by at least $2 per blade. With an estimated 75 million scalpel blades being used every year – assuming they are conventional – that could be an added cost of $150 million.

It is evident that sharps injuries – specifically those caused by scalpels – are extremely costly to healthcare facilities and the individuals who are injured. The implementation of safety scalpels can help to reduce the occurrence of scalpel injuries and ultimately decrease the financial cost facilities and injured parties face, as well as curtail the mental and physical toll these injuries take on those who experience them. However, implementation can only occur when there is buy-in from end-users – particularly surgeons, who feel that current safety scalpels are not up to par. That’s why we believe end-user engagement is key to the successful development of safety scalpels that provide the necessary safety features without compromising the ease of use and feel surgeons require.

Learn more about the Anzen Safety Scalpel, which we developed to address these issues, here.


https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/stopsticks/sharpsinjuries.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19890177
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20347743
Infection Control Today, 2013
http://www.leeject.com/Download/LeEject_Appendix3.pdf
The Surgical Technologist, 2015
 Ibid

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