Passive safety needle use by healthcare professionals


Background: Needlestick injuries (NSIs) may potentially expose healthcare professionals (HCPs) to bloodborne pathogens. Safety needles are designed to protect against NSIs. We evaluated whether a new fully passive safety needle could be used safely by HCPs.

Research design and methods: The passive safety needle was tested by physicians, nurses, and pharmacists in subcutaneous or intramuscular injection scenarios in simulation studies (1-3). Data collected included successes, close calls, difficulties, use errors, and failures. In study 4, HCPs rated the device safety (21-item questionnaire).

Results: Overall, 104 participants completed 4772 simulated tasks, including 932 injections. 915 injections (98.18%) were performed successfully and no NSIs (0%) were observed in any of the studies. Studies 1 & 2: 84.15% tasks and 96.06% injections were completed successfully, but use errors occurred, mostly arising from the participants’ mental model. There were no failures in Study 3. In Study 4, >98% of participants responded positively to every question, while all felt that the passive safety feature could eliminate NSIs and would better protect against bloodborne pathogens than other existing devices with active or semi-passive safety mechanisms.

Conclusions: The passive safety needle was used successfully by HCPs, did not lead to any NSIs, and was rated as the safest compared to similar devices.


Serafin A, Ryk A, Fendler W. Safe and effective use of a passive safety needle by healthcare professionals in a simulated environment, including perceptions and preferences. Expert Rev Med Devices. 2023 Sep 11:1-9. doi: 10.1080/17434440.2023.2254680. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37697473.