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Active or passive safety devices: a useful debate?

Maria Kapoula considers the debate on active vs passive safety pen needles and discusses the question: which type of device is preferable when the full range of human factors are assessed?

In 2010, the use of safety devices for injections or infusions was mandated by European legislation to protect healthcare workers and carers from needlestick injuries (NSIs).1 Such legislation was also introduced earlier in the US in 2000, as awareness grew and the drive to protect healthcare professionals from serious or fatal infections in healthcare settings began in earnest. The market for safety products continues to grow today, with one analyst firm estimating the current global market valuation at $2,038 million, growing to $3,009 million by 2026 – registering a compound annual growth rate of 8.1% across the period.2

These safety devices have evolved into two main categories: active and passive. An active device requires the user to shield the needle after use through manual intervention. A passive device automatically shields the needle after use, with no intervention. There is a long-running debate that discusses the merits of active safety pen needles over passive safety pen needles, typically focusing solely on the issue of safety. Although safety is undoubtedly a key issue, it is just one of many factors to be considered when selecting an appropriate drug delivery device.

The complete injection experience

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Upcoming Events

Central Sterilising Club Annual Scientific Meeting

Crowne Plaza, Newcastle Upon Tyne
3rd - 4th April 2023

DECON UK 2023

Hilton Birmingham Metropole
18th April 2023

Infection Prevention and Control 2023

National Conference Centre, Birmingham
25th - 26th April 2023

Oncology Professional Care

ExCeL London E16 1XL
23-24 May 2023

EBME Expo 2023

Judds Lane, Coventry, England, GB, CV6 6
28th - 29th June 2023

AfPP Annual Conference 2023

University of York
10- 13 August 2023

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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