A group of leading companies specializing in technologies to improve the safety of healthcare workers unveiled an organization on Thursday that iscommitted to reducing the number of sharps injuries that occur throughout the world each year.
����The International Sharps Injury Prevention Society (ISIPS) will promote the services and products that encompass the entire universe of safety products, from modified sharps to alternative products that actually eliminate the sharp.
����These safety products and services are essential weapons in the fight against accidental sharps injuries because not all sharps in the workplace can be eliminated by newer technologies. ISIPS will also act as a global clearinghouse for information on sharps injuries and preventive legislation.
����"ISIPS is the first international coalition dedicated to increasing awareness of sharps injury prevention and promoting safety products and services," said Ron Stoker, founder and executive director of ISIPS.
����"We extend an urgent invitation to all manufacturers of sharps injury prevention devices and services to join with us in providing a one-stop shop for healthcare workers the world over who are looking for best-of-breed products to reduce sharps injuries."
����With unique products dedicated to safety in their own markets, eight leading companies have joined ISIPS in the quest for a dramatic decrease in sharps injuries on a global basis. The eight founding companies include Porex Medical, Medamicus, Bio-Plexus, Suturtek, Biomedical Disposal, Becton Dickinson, Inviro Medical Devices and B. Braun.
����Membership in ISIPS is open to medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers, health organizations, healthcare professionals, medical waste disposal experts, hospitals, insurance companies, managed care organizations, alternate site providers and others interested in helping to prevent sharps injuries. In addition, ISIPS extends a special invitation for not-for-profit service groups to join.
����The federal Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, signed into law last year, was designed to help protect healthcare workers from accidental needlesticks. The newly revised OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, in effect as of July, requires the use of safer medical devices such as sharps with engineered injury protection and needleless systems.
����The updated standard mandates that employees responsible for direct patient care must be involved in the process of identifying, evaluating and selecting safer medical devices. ISIPS provides a method for healthcare workers to do this by showcasing technologies and practices that reduce sharps injuries.
����ISIPS grew out of the need to spread awareness and education about sharps prevention methods internationally. In the United States alone, more than 2,200 healthcare workers a day suffer accidental injuries from sharps. More than 100,000 needlestick injuries are reported in U.K. hospitals each year.
����Needlestick injuries are virtually undocumented in many developing countries, but are estimated to equal or exceed those in the industrial world. It is believed that only one out of three needlesticks are ever reported.
����Improperly discarded sharps also injure family members, housekeeping staff, and waste and recycling workers, or end up in places where they are a danger to the public, such as playgrounds and public beaches.
����Although the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act was a victory against unsafe sharps, it is only one of many battles in the global war for healthcare worker safety, observed Stoker, adding that ISIPS is issuing a "call to arms" to all healthcare workers, hospital administrators, and health organizations to reduce sharps injuries by identifying, evaluating and selecting safer products.
����"Safer needle devices work -- they have been shown to reduce accidental needlesticks by more than 80 percent," Stoker said. "Safety equipment exists that will prevent most sharps injuries. It is critical to the healthcare workers of the world that safer technology be adopted to protect them and others in related industries from these very avoidable injuries.
����"ISIPS is committed to providing education about the variety of products and services that are currently available to reduce this global health hazard." For more information about ISIPS go to www.isips.org.
����Information on the nine founding companies follows:
����About Porex Medical
����Porex Medical Products is an ISO 9001 certified designer, developer and manufacturer of proprietary medical components and finished devices which are distributed on an OEM basis to companies servicing the hospital, clinic and home care markets. The products, trademarked KippMed(R), are some of the world's most widely used and accepted components for intravenous infusion and catheterization systems.
����Within KippMed(R), our focus on safety products is exemplified by our NAC(TM) and Manifold product lines. The KippMed(R) NAC(TM) is a patented series of needless access connectors available in Y-site, PRN, and Positive Pressure designs. These KippMed(R) brand devices offer physicians and other clinical care givers safer, effective alternatives in the intravenous administration of fluids and pharmaceuticals.
����They offer several advantageous features such as the best swabbability in the market, latex free and non-metallic components, and a simplistic, cost-effective design. Our manifold products offer anesthesiologists a needle- and stopcock-free alternative for giving multiple infusions without fear of needlesticks, backflow or valve confusion. For more information, visit http://www.porex.com
����AMSINO is an ISO 9001 certified, FDA registered manufacturer and distributor of disposable medical products, with two manufacturing plants located in China. AMSINO products are distributed in the United States and more than 30 different countries worldwide. AMSINO provides products under its own label and to major U.S. and international customers on an OEM basis.
����Amsino has been providing products on a worldwide basis for nearly 10 years and has been successful because it has focused on its mission to bring product value to the healthcare marketplace.
����This year AMSINO introduced a full line of IV administration sets featuring KippMed(c) needleless connectors with non-DEHP tubing and components to assist their customers in a cost-effective conversion to a needle-free infusion environment. For more information, visit http://www.amsino.com
����About Medamicus Inc.
����Medamicus Inc. (Nasdaq: MEDM) is an ISO certified medical device company engaged in the design, development, manufacturing and marketing of medical products for the vascular access markets. Medamicus commenced operations in 1985 and became a public company in 1991. The company is headquartered in Plymouth, Minn. For more information, visit http://www.medamicus.com
����Bio-Plexus Inc. (Pink Sheets: BPXS), located in Vernon, Conn. develops and manufactures blood collection needles and winged sets that utilize its unique, patented PUNCTUR-GUARD(R) technology. Bio-Plexus believes that by eliminating the exposure to a sharp, contaminated needle, you eliminate the risk of an accidental needlestick. ZERO EXPOSURE = ZERO INCIDENTS.
����PUNCTUR-GUARD technology allows a sharp needle to penetrate the skin and a safe, blunted one to be removed. The technology is also adaptable to a wide variety of needles used in health care. For more information, visit http://www.bio-plexus.com
����About SuturTek Inc.
����SuturTek Inc. provides proprietary needle-protected suturing devices for surgeons, operating room nurses and staff. The company's patented needle-protected suturing(TM) technology eliminates the risk of suture needlesticks and enables surgeons to achieve gold standard wound closure more quickly and easily. For more information, visit http://www.suturtek.com
����About Biomedical Disposal Inc.
����Biomedical Disposal Inc. (BioMed), located in Norcross, Ga., is an innovative medical device manufacturer and software developer providing comprehensive, cost-effective solutions to the issue of caregiver safety and regulatory compliance in the healthcare workplace. BioMed's Sharpx(R) utilized with conventional needles provides compliance to the new Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act.
����Sharpx is a cost-effective alternative to expensive safety syringes, offering savings over $25,000 per 100,000 needles. BioMed's NICSx(R) Web-based software publishes, trains and certifies caregivers on sharps exposure control plan and records annual product evaluations. Any accidental needlestick incidents are confidentially logged complying with the work practice regulations.
����For more information, visit http://www.biodisposal.com
����About Becton Dickinson
����BD (NYSE: BDX) pioneered and actively seeks to expand the market for products designed to protect health care workers against sharps injuries. There is no company that has committed more money, human resources, or technological know-how to reducing sharps injuries.
����Today, BD offers the most complete line of advanced protection products in the industry, providing nearly 200 products for use in skin injection, sample collection, infusion therapy, surgery, and disposal. In the past five years BD has spent more than $100 million on R&D and the acquisition of new patents for the development of sharps products with added safety features.
����BD offers the most products with user protection features on the market and has 75 patents in the safety area, more than twice the number held by any other company. For more information, visit http://www.bd.com
����About Inviro Medical Devices Inc.
����Inviro Medical Devices provides safety products, particularly syringes and needles. The Inviro SNAP!(TM) retractable needle syringe improves healthcare worker safety. The company's emphasis on completely eliminating the use of sharp metal needles whenever possible has resulted in the development of additional innovative safety products which will be introduced in 2002.
����With 14 U.S. patents issued and over 30 additional foreign patents issued, the company is positioned to introduce safer syringes into the United States, Canada, Europe and most other countries with patent protection. For more information, visit http://www.inviromedical.com
����About B. Braun
����B. Braun Medical Inc. is a global leader in Intravenous Therapy-related products and services. Our mission is to provide the medical community with world-class devices and solutions, affording the best total value in improving the safety and clinical effectiveness for patients and healthcare workers throughout the continuum of care.
����One of our main areas of expertise is Vascular Access, where B. Braun had designed, manufactured and distributed over 1 billion IV catheters worldwide. As a pioneer in safety product innovation, B. Braun produced the world's first passive needle-free IV system, SAFSITE(c), followed by the first positive pressure capless valve, ULTRASITE(c), and was also the first U.S. manufacturer to offer non-PVC/DEHP-free IV bags.
����Following this proud tradition of excellence in medical safety design, B. Braun now offers Introcan(c) Safety TM. For more information, visit http://www.bbraunusa.com
CONTACT: ISIPS: Ron Stoker, 801/280-8797; [email protected]