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Medtech firm NeedleSmart has come up with a design to reduce the 100,000 needlestick injuries (NSI) suffered by NHS workers each year.

The UK-based company is working with engineering solutions company CAL International to design a needle destruction system which destroys hypodermic needles and provides a full audit trail of each needle. Needlesmart has also entered into a partnership with Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust to work on a safety and NSI reduction programme.

NeedleSmart CEO, Cliff Kirby, said: “Coming from a product development background, I know all too well that any product only succeeds with the blessing and input of the end-user. This ethos sits at the centre of the Alder Hey Innovation Centre and we are really excited to work with the team on a co-development strategy that could have such a huge and positive impact on the medical environment."

A recent survey reported that 94 per cent of practising surgeons in the UK have either witnessed or been personally affected by a NSI. These injuries not only result in staff absenteeism but are estimated to cost each NHS trust £500,000 a year and £127 million across England.

The NeedleSmart Pro device destroys the contaminated needle in a sealed chamber in just six seconds and will kill any potentially harmful pathogens, viruses and bacteria on the needle. NeedleSmart has recently achieved FDA 510(k) approval as a Class II medical device (Class II for Sharps Needle Destruction Device (NDD)) and is working with 15 NHS trusts across the UK as part of the nationwide pilot.

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