Passive safety device helps prevent needle-stick injuries

Pharmaceutical CommercePharmaceutical Commerce - September 2009

NovaGuard attaches to standard threaded syringes and automatically covers the needle after injection

There’s increasing emphasis within the healthcare industry on preventing accidental needle-stick after injections, with the associated risk of disease transmission to healthcare workers.

Eying the trend, West Pharmaceutical Services (Lionville, PA) has introduced NovaGuard, a safety needle for use with standard Luer Lock (threaded) syringes.

Graham Reynolds, VP of innovation and strategic marketing at West, says a key feature of NovaGuard is that it is a “totally passive system. “Unlike active systems that require the user to take additional steps to activate the safety feature during the injection process—such as manually flipping a guard over the needle—NovaGuard covers the needle automatically after the injection.

With NovaGuard, a plastic shield surrounds the needle before the injection is given, leaving only the needle tip exposed so users can accurately position it at the injection site. When the needle is pressed into the patient’s skin to administer the injection, the protective shield is activated. As the needle is withdrawn, the shield extends forward to cover the needle fully and the shield is locked in place. Reynolds also notes that NovaGuard can screw onto any standard Luer Lock syringe, and therefore can potentially be used in a wide variety of situations.

West obtained FDA 510(k) clearance for the device in April, after obtaining an exclusive license to market the technology, which was developed by the UK's Salvus Technology Ltd.

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