Competitive Analysis

There are currently four general types of safety syringes

Sheathing Tube Syringes (BD Safety-LokTM and Covidien MonojectTM)

  • Require two hands to operate.
  • Require a second hand moving closer to the needle to activate them.
  • Harder to read the scales because of the sheath.
  • Many reported problems of being able to reliably engage the safety mechanisms.
  • Must retract from the injection site, exposing the needle before actuation.
  • Take up more room in expensive sharps containers.
  • Use of the BD Safety-lok syringe increased needlesticks at Kaiser Permanente.
  • The Kendall syringe requires a second operation in order to lock it in place. The same old problem with a new twist.

Sliding Needle Covers (BD SafetyGlideTM and Covidien MagellanTM)

  • Require a grip change.
  • Safety feature actuation requires a thumb or finger in closer proximity to the needle.
  • Must retract from the injection site, exposing the needle before actuation.
  • Kaiser’s use of the BD SafetyGlide failed to reduce needle sticks during one year of wide-spread use.

Hinged Needle Covers (BD EclipseTM and Terumo SurGuard2TM)

  • Necessitate reaching next to the needle to move the cover out of the way in order to give an injection.
  • Require a grip change to operate a safety feature.
  • Puts at least one finger in close proximity to the needle after the injection.
  • Must retract from the injection site, exposing the needle before actuation.
  • Cumbersome to use.
  • Flipping motion as the needle snaps into the cover can cause blood splatter.

Spring Retractable Syringes (RTI VanishPoint® and BD IntegraTM)

  • Splatter on activation.
  • Aerosol residual contents, potentially spreading contagious viruses.
  • Difficult to actuate, requiring over 9 lbs of push.
  • Actuation can cause movement of the needle resulting in tissue trauma.
  • Weak springs don’t always pull the needle out of the patient.
  • The needle hanging up in the muscle and skin flips back, splattering the needle’s contents on the operator.
  • Viruses can be picked up through contact with the eye, nose, mouth, or skin.

Other disadvantages of the competitors’ safety syringes

  • Difficult to learn to use.
  • Require extensive training.
  • Lack of instructions on the device pouches.
  • Lack of confirmation that the safety mechanism is locked.
  • Many safety syringes are currently discarded in sharps containers without actuation because they are difficult or cumbersome to activate.
  • As a group they give healthcare workers a false sense of security.
  • Calling them Safety Syringes is a major misnomer.

The lack of instructions on the pouches is a real problem at hospitals, where medical professionals grab a syringe that requires instruction out of a bulk bin.

Many syringes are packaged in pouches that don’t break open and the operator is required to fumble with the “peel open” corner. This can be a real problem when a syringe is required rapidly in an emergency.

Companies listed in the Frost and Sullivan report 7764-54 entitled “U.S Needles, Syringes & Needleless Device Market” listed 9 companies offering safety syringes. Of those listed, Becton Dickinson led the market with an estimated 54% market share with Kendall Healthcare (now Covidien) second with 37% and the remaining seven companies accounting for 9%.

Company Name Product Safety Feature Automatic
Becton Dickinson Safety Glide/Safety Lok Sliding Sleeve No
Kendall Healthcare Monoject Sliding Sheath No
Medi-Hut Co. Inc. Elite Safety Syringe Sheath Yes
New Medical Technology, Inc. NMT Safety Syringe Retraction Yes
Retractable Technologies, Inc. Vanish Point Syringe Retraction Yes
Safety Medical Supply Intl. Safety Tip Sheath No
Safety 1st Medical Safety – 1st Retraction Yes
SIMS Portex, Inc. Needle Pro Sheath No
Sterimatic Medical Corp. Sterimatic Safety Needle Sheath Yes
Univec, Inc. Univec Sliding Sheath Sliding Sheath Yes

Source: Frost & Sullivan, February 20, 2001 U.S. Needles, Syringes & Needleless Device Market Report

An October 1999 report released by the Emergency Care Research Institute (ECRI) entitled “Sharps Safety and Needlestick Prevention”, found that all of the safety syringes offered by the major syringe companies have significant limitations or are not acceptable as safety devices.

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