Needlestick Crisis | Our Safety Solutions | RTI

Needlestick Crisis

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Confronting the crisis
safety through new technologies

Retractable Technologies, Inc. is focused on reducing healthcare related exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Our solutions are based on engineering controls—devices that effectively reduce the risk of exposure associated with needlestick injury and device reuse. Unfortunately, healthcare worker access to innovative products is often limited by contracts and entrenched market interests. RTI has battled—and continues to battle—to provide safe, innovative products to healthcare workers.

The safety problems
bloodborne pathogen exposures plaguing healthcare
Unsafe safety products
Safe in Name Only, some so-called "safety" needle devices are, in reality, just as dangerous as their non-safety predecessors; in fact, some are even more so. Some of these ill-conceived "safety" devices actually increase the number of needlestick injuries.1  Some clinicians, fearful of getting stuck, often intentionally don't activate the "safety" feature.2


Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections
"Shortly after their introduction in the early 1990s, needleless connectors were associated with rising rates of CRBSI [catheter-related bloodstream infections]."3  The luer tip of a standard syringe is exposed to the risk of contact (or touch) contamination by healthcare personnel, as well as through contact with any unsterile surface. Since the luer tip directly interfaces with the access port, contamination of the luer tip has the potential for contaminating the access port and infusate, which increases the risk of nosocomial infections, such as bloodstream infections.


Needlestick Injuries
Worldwide needlestick injuries cause millions of exposures annually to HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and many other bloodborne diseases. It is estimated that over 320,000 needlestick injuries occur every year in the United States.4  There are more than 20 bloodborne pathogens that can be transmitted by needlestick injuries.


Syringe Reuse
Syringe reuse is a worldwide problem and can result in the spread of bloodborne pathogens. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 40% of the 16 billion injections administered worldwide annually involve reused, unsterilized syringes and needles, with rates of unsafe injections climbing to 70% in some countries.5  The reuse of injection equipment is responsible worldwide for 32% of new HBV infections, 40% of new HCV infections, and 5% of all new HIV infections.6
Our safety solutions
innovative products to address your safety needs
uniquely designed injection devices
RTI's automated retraction technology found in VanishPoint® and EasyPoint® devices effectively reduces the risk of a contaminated sharps injury and reuse.
patient safe® luer guard devices
The innovative luer guard design promotes safe handling of syringe and medication by reducing the risk of luer tip contact contamination. It also reduces the risk of catheter hub contamination.
VanishPoint® blood collection devices
Automated in-vein retraction blood collection devices effectively reduce the risk of needlestick injuries, blood exposure, and inadvertent activation during blood collection.
VanishPoint® Infusion devices
RTI infusion devices contain integrated safety mechanisms that automatically retract the introducer needle, which remains safely retracted inside the housing, reducing the risk of a needlestick injury.
Needle safety legislation

The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (Public Law 106-430) was signed into U.S. law on November 6, 2000. The Act directed OSHA to revise its Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1919.1030). The U.S. Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published the revised standard on January 18, 2001; it took effect on April 18, 2001. see more

Want to Learn more?
Read more literature about this serious crisis and see
how our products are addressing these issues
1 William A. Hyman, Sc.D., P.E., "Human Factors Analysis of Needle Safety Devices," Journal of Clinical Engineering, vol. 27, issue 4 (Fall 2002), pp. 280-286.

2 Kelly M. Pyrek, "Sharps Safety Is Still a Work in Progress: A Q&A with Amber Hogan Mitchell, DrPH, MPH, CPH", Infection Control Today, vol. 22, no. 7 (July 2015), p. 18, available online at:; and NIOSH ALERT "Preventing Needlestick injuries in Health Care Settings," DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2000-108, November 1999, p. 13, available online at:

3 Lynn Hadaway, "Needleless Connectors for IV Catheters," AJN, vol. 112, no. 11, (November 2012), pp. 32-44.

4 Terry Grimmond, FASM, BAgrSc, GrDpAdEd and Linda Good, PhD, RN, COHN-S, "EXPO-S.T.O.P.: A National Survey and Estimate of Sharps Injuries and Mucocutaneous Blood Exposures among Healthcare Workers in USA," AOHP Journal, vol. 33, no. 4 (Fall 2013), pp. 31-36.

5 Benedetta Allegranzi, The Burden of Unsafe Injections Worldwide: Highlights on Recent Improvements and Areas Requiring Urgent Attention, the World Health Organization and Patient Safety (A World Alliance for Safer Health Care), n. d., p. 2.

6 WHO Guideline on the Use of Safety-Engineered Syringes for Intramuscular, Intradermal and Subcutaneous Injections in Health-Care Settings, World Health Organization, WHO/HIS/SDS/2015.5, p. 7.