One-Stick Hospital Stay
Needles pose a serious risk for people in developing countries, but nearly every hospital stay requires the use of needles in some way, whether it be for IV lines, blood draws or simple injections. One of the top medical technology companies in the world has a new plan for a “One-Stick Hospital Stay” that could change the safety and experience of global health care for everyone.

What is the Danger of Needles?

Because of poor access to medical equipment, hospitals in developing countries must routinely reuse needles. This unsafe practice leads to the transmission of bloodborne pathogens such as Hepatitis B and C, HIV and other unrecognizable infections. In many countries dealing with poverty, more than 60% of injections are unsafe, meaning that the needles may undergo use multiple times on multiple patients before people throw them away or sanitize them. The probability of transmission from unsafe needle use varies within different locations, but Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV are the most common bloodborne pathogens that occur through needles.

Along with infections, needles can cause anxiety for patients. Estimates have determined that trypanophobia, the fear of needles, affects 20% to 30% of adults. It has many possibly detrimental consequences, such as fainting, nausea, difficulty breathing, hypersensitivity and avoidance of necessary hospital visits. However, new technology could soon be on the way to eliminating these risks and the anxiety that goes along with needles and injections.

Becton, Dickinson and Company’s New Innovation

Becton, Dickinson and Company’s (BD) goal is to create a “One-Stick Hospital Stay” to eliminate the need for multiple needle sticks in a single hospital visit. As a result, it will reduce discomfort and anxiety and increase safety for patients. BD has been working towards this vision for the past 70 years. The company provides doctors with the tools they need to utilize needles correctly on each individual. This assistance helps to ensure success on the first needle stick as well as success with IV insertion and care. Recently, BD has entered into a partnership with Velano Vascular to continue approaching this one-stick goal.

Velano Vascular allows clinicians to go virtually needle-free by drawing blood through peripheral intravenous catheter lines (PIVC lines). This technology brings BD one step closer to achieving a “One-Stick Hospital Stay.” Velano Vascular is currently one of the most rapidly expanding medical device companies. In hospitals, 90% of patients receive IV therapy. About 95% of that therapy uses PIVC lines. Inserting these lines and performing venipuncture are some of the most common operations in hospitals. Reducing the number of needlesticks in these procedures can reduce the risk of stress, fear and possible infection and pain, creating an overall safer and more comfortable healthcare experience for everyone.

Future Repercussions

BD is present in nearly every country striving to enhance healthcare experiences for everyone. It is working to expand access to this new technology, and as it becomes available around the world, the impact will be significant. A “One-Stick Hospital Stay” can reduce the risk of unsafe injections, decrease bloodborne pathogens, provide more comfort and less stress to patients and assist countries in poverty that do not have access to large quantities of sterilized needles for each patient.

– Delaney Gilmore
Photo: Flickr