1) Sustainability problem: Reuse of syringes. Area: Health
- The reuse of syringes has been a global health challenge ever since immunization and vaccines have become the norm.
- In the developing world, where there are lax regulations regarding the reuse of medical equipment and lack of access to further resources, it estimated that about 6.7 billion out of 16 billion injections are done using reused equipment.
- Needle reuse contributed to the infection of up to 1.7 million people with hepatitis B, up to 315,000 with hepatitis C and up to 33,800 with HIV in 2010.
- Although the regions most affected by this issue are Africa, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia, there are thousands of people who are at risk of infection due to needle reuse in the U.S.
- The SmartSyringe is a fail-safe, single hand operated syringe that contains a passive spring which helps retract the needle after use.
- The retractive action can be controlled with an option of full automatic retraction.
- Once the needle holder is pulled back, the entire syringe is interlocked, immobile and inoperable. It is not possible to re-use and must be disposed of to be recycled.
- Populations in developing nations at high risk of needle reuse
- Healthcare facilities and practitioners
- Non-profit and international organizations
- The sustainability problem and technology must be understood by healthcare workers, policy-makers, and governing organizations who must then put in place policy mandating the use of this technology.
- Manufacturers need to be regulated and required to switch to this design.
- Public awareness campaigns need to be run to educate people about the issues of needle reuse and the importance of smart syringes.
UNI – jv2610