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Choosing wisely: Resources for selecting sharps safety devices

An essential part of a sharps safety program is selecting appropriate devices, such as safety needles. While no one device, feature, or mechanism of action addresses all clinical needs, each device must be evaluated carefully. Also, proper selection requires involvement of frontline workers who will use the devices. All individuals participating in selection and use of safety devices need to understand the choices. Fortunately, many resources are available, including those listed below.

American Nurses Association:
Needlestick Injury Prevention

This website section features a needlestick injury prevention guide, background information, a toolkit for nurses and employers, and links to pertinent articles. The nurses’ toolkit includes a checklist for preventing needlestick injuries and seven responses to needlestick injuries.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Bloodborne Infectious Diseases: HIV/AIDS,
Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C


This page provides emergency needlestick information for workers and medical providers and comprehensive resources on bloodborne infectious diseases. It also gives access to publications on preventing exposure to bloodborne pathogens among paramedics, use of blunt-tip suture needles to decrease percutaneous injuries to surgical personnel, information to help employers comply with the bloodborne pathogens standards, and a workbook for designing, implementing, and evaluating a sharps injury prevention program.


CDC: Engineering Controls and Personal Protective Equipment


Here you’ll find a wealth of information on safer needle devices, a needlestick-prevention device selection guide, tools for evaluating medical devices, and links to resources on other engineering controls, latex gloves, and personal protective equipment.


International Healthcare Worker Safety Center: Safety Device List


This page lists safety devices by device category and manufacturer, provides device-evaluation tools and forms, and links to a bibliography of recent articles on the efficacy of safety-engineered devices. You can access a checklist for sharps injury prevention at http://www.medicalcenter.virginia.edu/epinet/bib-2.html.


Occupational Safety & Health Administration: Needlestick/Sharps Injuries


This website provides a summary of needlestick and sharps injuries, including how to properly handle needles and sharps, plus a section on safer needle devices featuring examples of safety device designs.


Premier Safety Institute: Resources and Tools

This webpage discusses setting up or revising a sharps injury prevention program, and evaluating and selecting safer devices. It includes education and training resources, a tool for creating an inventory of sharps, and instructions on making a display board of sharps devices to keep staff current on availability and use of safer products. You can download a copy of the Institute’s needlestick prevention educational brochure at https://www.premierinc.com/quality-safety/tools-services/safety/topics/needlestick/non-acute-care.jsp.


Training for Development of Innovative Control Technologies Project (TDICT)


The TDICT Project is a collaborative effort of “healthcare workers, product designers, and industrial hygienists dedicated to preventing exposure to blood through better design and evaluation of medical devices and equipment.” The website includes a section on safety feature evaluation forms (www.tdict.org/evaluation2.html) for products ranging from I.V. access devices to sharps containers for home health care.


Please click on the PDF icon above to download the Safety device checklist and the Safety feature evaluation form: I.V. connectors


To read another article from this supplement, Moving the Sharps Safety Agenda Forward, please click below:

To reduce sharps injuries, all of us must create a culture of safety in our workplaces

Essential elements of a comprehensive sharps injury-prevention program

Reducing sharps injuries in nonhospital settings

Practical strategies to prevent surgical sharps injuries

Moving the Sharps Safety Agenda Forward:
Consensus Statement and Call to Action

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