Safe Injection Technology

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Discovering needles in the 1850s is considered one of the most significant achievements; it is one of the main pillars of drug delivery for those who suffer severe or permanent diseases, or in cases of difficulty swallowing, such as losing consciousness. Despite the widespread use of syringes, they have caused many problems. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Organization, about 600,000–800,000 patients are annually injured as a result of being injected with needles in the USA alone.

As a result, healthcare providers may be infected with over 20 types of blood-borne diseases, such as HIV and Hepatitis C. Not only that, but there are about 500 million used vaccination syringes that are discarded annually; they form about 75 million sources of blood-borne diseases. Financially speaking, each person infected due to injection costs about USD 3000 in lab fees, follow-up, etc.

We cannot neglect the problems patients suffer from as well; they are also at risk of getting infected due to injection. Moreover, patients may lose the desire to follow doctors' orders due to excessive puncturing during the day. Some may also suffer injection phobia; a condition recognized by the American Psychiatric Association where patients experience light to severe anxiety symptoms that are difficult to overcome unless the patient is calmed down or the injection process is avoided entirely. As for pharmaceutical manufacturers, there are some physical barriers with highly viscous or high concentration medications that are difficult to inject.

After listing the previous facts, we can now talk about what scientists have initiated to limit these grave consequences by inventing new injection methods, known as needle-free injection technologies (NFITs). These techniques started to appear in the 20th century, aiming to deliver medications or vaccines without piercing the skin as usual, and they are evolving up to this moment. The following figure shows how this technique for intramuscular, subcutaneous, or dermal injection can be used.

Injection Steps

4

3

2

1

Deliver the injection

Placing the injection tool on the device to prepare it

Filling the injection tool

Preparing the device

 

Watch this video on how to prepare the device:

This technology has many benefits by and large, including:

  • Safe use, with rapid injection.
  • Reduced risk of skin puncture, with no bleeding or bruising.
  • Eliminating injection phobia, besides increasing patient compliance with medication regularly.
  • Preventing the spread of infectious diseases, and limiting the danger of needle infections.
  • Eliminating the costs of testing and treatment, and saving the money spent on the disposal of used needles.
  • Possibility to use with different viscosities, and it also works with injecting liquid and powder medications, or Depot Injection

As for its disadvantages, they are:

  • The urgent need for people carefully trained on how to use it.
  • The technique is expensive and somehow complex.
  • It cannot be used for intravenous injection.

The conflict between traditional and advanced injection methods in their applications is still in progress; hopefully, modern technology will be victorious and we are able to reach a better, disease-free future.

References

biotuesdays.com

deviceplus.com

drug-dev.com

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov  

pdfs.semanticscholar.org

pharmajet.com

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