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Impact On Society

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The impact on the individual have been immense as many individuals and health care professionals now have a lower risk of needlestick injuries than ever before and therefore the contraction of bloodborne diseases is also lower than ever before. The average risk for HIV transmission after a needlestick injury is approximately 0.3%, the risk of Hepatitis B transmission is 6 to 30%, and the risk of Hepatitis C transmission is approximately 1.8%.

Needlestick injuries (NSIs) have been a serious problem for healthcare workers for decades. A healthcare worker can contract any of over 20 bloodborne diseases, including HIV and hepatitis C, from a contaminated syringe. Many NSI’s occur due to the lack of innovation and funding towards the implementation of Retractable Syringes.

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Since the development of the retractable syringe, in 2004, the implementation of it throughout hospitals and doctors’ offices has been a slow incline in their use. Majority of syringes sold across the world have no safety mechanism or features to protect the health care professional and therefore the risk of needlestick injuries is still higher than it should be.

With the development of the retractable syringe with safety features such as the immediate and automatic withdrawal from a patient after depletion of the syringe, and then a locking of the needle within the syringe, prevents it from harming the healthcare professional as well as the patient, there should be a reduced risk of needlestick injuries and thus a reduction of the spread of bloodborne diseases. This removal of the needle from being reused then also decreases the spread of bloodborne diseases throughout the society and although this reduction has been seen it doesn’t necessarily mean that this reduction is down to the implementation of Retractable syringes as their use is not as wide-spread as it should be.

The impacts on both the patient and the healthcare professionals have been immense as they have allowed for many more health care professionals be able to implement treatments of many kinds without having to be fearful of the chance of stabbing oneself and causing a needlestick injury, this has allowed for the easier and more efficient treatment of many patients.

Although, with the lack of funding and innovation from syringe producing companies in this area there has been a lack of widespread use of retractable syringes and thus the amount of needlestick injuries and contraction of bloodborne diseases in health care professionals has not reduced as much as it could have in the last 13 years.

There have been a positive and negative impact on society, although overall it has been seemingly positive. There has been a reduction in the contraction of bloodborne diseases, both in healthcare professionals and in society over all, especially in drug users. This reduction has been because retractable syringes do not allow for the reuse of syringes in any circumstance. This means that there can be no cross contamination from different people or from outside environment, or even a mixing of medicines or drugs within the syringe.

The retractable syringe has also reduced the risk of other people from getting needlestick injuries as any syringe left on the street or rejected in a gutter now has an enclosed syringe to stop any person who comes into contact with that syringe from injuring themselves. It means that any child running around barefoot on the beach or in a park or anywhere can now be free to do that with a minimised risk of being injured from a used and rejected syringe.

Syringes nowadays are made out of heat-treatable stainless steel or carbon steel. To prevent corrosion, many are nickel plated. Depending on the style of device used, the main body of the tube can be made of plastic, glass, or both. Although these materials are chosen for their ability to be sterilised and cleaned, for most syringes there is no recycling done, the stainless steel which can be very easily melted down and recycled is disposed of as it seen to be unsterile and therefore is generally not reused. This can also be applied to the polyethylene and polypropylene plastic that is usually used to make syringes, this can be recycled if large enough quantities can be collected, but it is not recycled as often it is unsterile and is easier to manufacture from new rather than recycling. This means that the effect on society is that there is a lot of waste and unrecycled goods that could otherwise be recycled, and therefore there is disregarded syringes and wasted materials.

Unfortunately certain clinics such as in doctors’ offices or hospitals or even vets, may have to pay more for these retractable syringes as they are not government standard yet, and are therefore not taken out of the government budget. Therefore the companies who make these syringes must rely on the sale of the syringes in order to keep making those syringes. Therefore someone wanting to buy these syringes may be turned off buying them as they cost more than other syringes with no safety mechanism. Thus the impact on society has not been as immense as it could have been in this area as this innovation has not been supplied to those who need it most, the health care professionals who are implementing treatment to patients and putting themselves and their health at risk of contracting a bloodborne disease from a needlestick injury.

The impacts on society may not have been as effective as they may have been. There has been minimal positive effects on society but little to no negative effects on society. There has been a reduction bloodborne diseases in recent years, especially in healthcare professionals, which may have many causes, including the greater awareness around the spread and contraction of bloodborne diseases. There have been impacts on companies and clinics, such as the higher cost for these retractable syringes, but overall there have been minimal impacts, as the Retractable Syringe is not extremely widespread, and sold widely across the world.


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