Preventing NHS staff drawing their own blood 

More than nine out of ten surgeons say they have pricked themselves with a contaminated needle at least once or seen a colleague do so. The Royal College of Nursing reported a 50% increase in such injuries last year because of lack of time to train people in how to avoid them, and the total number of reports of NHS needle stick injuries (NSIs) has risen to more than 100,000 a year.

The problem can lead to transmission of serious infection, lead to time off work or litigation by NHS staff who may be left with conditions that prevent them from continuing to work. Now help is at hand with the pilot of an innovative system called NeedleSmart which is now being tried out by 15 NHS trusts.

The British-designed system destroys the contaminated needle in six seconds by heating it to 1,300 degrees in a sealed chamber and turning it into a tiny metal ball.

One of the hospitals trialling the device is the celebrated Alder Hey children’s hospital in Liverpool.

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