ASCA 2018 Survey Results: A Great Opportunity For A New Generation of Safety Scalpels

June 12, 2018

By: Adeline Yi, Anzen™ Product Manager

A new Medipurpose survey points to a troubling fact: despite widespread scalpel related injuries, many medical facilities still aren’t providing safety scalpels as an option.

Safety Scalpels Are Not Readily Available To Surgical Staff

In the surgical setting, the risk of scalpel related injuries goes with the territory. The problem is, many facilities don’t offer the choice to use safety scalpels.

As we discussed in our previous post, Embracing Change – Introducing Better Safety Scalpels to Facilities, 62% to 88% of sharps injuries can be prevented simply by using safer medical devices. However, facility managers are not providing their medical staff with surgical scalpels in order to increase adoption and decrease sharps injuries. The lack of safety scalpels in facilities can put employees at risk of sharps injuries and serious diseases, such as HIV and Hepatitis from blood-borne pathogens.

ASCA 2018 Conference Survey

At the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) 2018 Conference, professionals attended educational and networking sessions to discuss industry trends and news. As the informational authority in the industry, ASCA tackled relevant issues and informed members on topics that impact their facilities.

In our continuing effort to gain consumer insight, Medipurpose surveyed 2018 ASCA Conference attendees to find out their views on safety scalpels. The poll included 78 professionals from 61 different facilities. Participants included the following roles:

Nurses – 15

Surgeons – 2

Surgical Tech – 1

Administrator – 18

Director – 14

CEO – 3

CFO – 1

Vice President (Operations, Surgery Services) – 3

Manager (Clinical, Operating Room, Materials) – 6

Compliance – 2

Quality/Safety – 2

Peer Review Coordinator 1

Unknown positions – 10

New Survey Upholds Previous Results

This latest survey revealed that many facilities still aren’t on board when it comes to adopting safety scalpels. Here are some key highlights of the findings:

  • The majority of conference attendees (74%) were highly aware of safety scalpels, especially plastic handle safety scalpels.
  • 82% of respondents reported witnessing or personally experiencing a sharps injury, with 55% of those injuries happening to surgical technicians or nurses.
  • Despite their awareness of safety scalpels and experiences with sharps injuries, 65% reported their facility does not use safety scalpels.
  • Only 47% said their facility is evaluating safety scalpels as a solution.


The poll yielded similar results to previous Medipurpose surveys:

  • In the ACS 2016 study, 65% of respondents stated that their facility does not use safety scalpels.
  • The ASCA 2016 survey showed 69% of respondents had witnessed a scalpel related injury yet 61% of respondents stated that their facilities did not use safety scalpels.
  • The AORN 2017 survey of more than 200 nurses revealed that 83% of OR nurses had personally witnessed a scalpel-related injury, yet only 33% reported that safety scalpels were used at their facility.

New and Improved Safety Scalpels Will Transform OR Safety

Not only must safety scalpels be readily available in their facilities, but end users must be comfortable using them. As we learned in our previous surveys, the majority of surgeons are willing to try a safety scalpel, as long as it has similar characteristics to a traditional scalpel.

The new survey confirmed what we’ve been saying for several years: new and improved safety scalpels can address the problem. That’s why MediPurpose has continually conducted surveys to gather consumer insight. It’s an integral part in testing and developing the Anzen™ safety scalpel. This knowledge has made it possible to design a new generation of safety scalpels -providing a device that delivers important safety features, while addressing the the needs of surgeons at the same time.

What’s more, the survey insights allow MediPurpose to help educate decision makers on the importance of adopting safety scalpels. It’s through these initiatives, that MediPurpose seeks to transform surgical safety in operating rooms across the industry.