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March 3, 2011

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Health-care injuries in sharp focus

Inspired by requests from health-care professionals, medical technology company Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) has published a set of management guides designed to bring health-care organisations up to speed with the EU’s directive on the prevention of sharps injuries, and help them plan a compliance strategy.

In March last year EU ministers approved a directive (Council Directive 2010/32/EU) aimed at preventing injuries from medical sharps, such as hypodermic needles and blood-collection devices, which can lead to infection, including hepatitis and HIV.

Compliance with the directive will be mandatory by May 2013 at the latest, but many health-care organisations have already introduced safety programmes in advance of that deadline in order to protect staff, as well as to avoid regulatory enforcement action, fines, or compensation claims.

Johnny Lundgren, BD’s general manager, north-west Europe, said: “Forward-thinking health-care organisations across Europe have felt that the case for converting to safety-engineered medical-device policies before the mandatory deadline is very strong, and have moved early.”

The management guides include:

  • a short management overview of the directive;
  • a business case for converting to safety-engineered medical-device policies based on the experience of organisations that have already made the change;
  • a review of existing penalties, compensation payments and legislative requirements; and
  • safety-device definitions and best practice.

Added Lungdren: “Our research has shown that occupational-health professionals are concerned that awareness of the new EU legislation is not yet sufficiently widespread. We hope that these management guides will help increase awareness and knowledge among health-care organisations.”

The management guides can be obtained by sending an e-mail request to: [email protected]

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