Blood collection needles used to obtain multiple samples safely require early visual detection of proper vein entry. To be safe, injection syringe needles need to be automatically limited to a single use.
BD is the supplier of most of the 400+ million phlebotomy needles used in the U.S. The multiple sample needle is inherently dangerous, and BD claims vein entry indication (VEI) is vital to safety, yet they only sell their safer VEI design—the BD Vacutainer® Flashback Needle—outside of the United States.
The B. Braun Double Flashback catheter is an excellent device that shows vein entry indication (VEI) in two places on the device thus insuring correct needle placement. If it is important to know early needle placement in catheters, then it is just as important when doing blood collection.
Greiner Bio-One acknowledges the importance of VEI and built it into their VACUETTE® Visio Plus line of blood collection devices, which they claim "guarantees a safe blood collection procedure for the patient, whilst at the same time ensuring best possible comfort"...but they are not available in the U.S.
The ingenious STA-MED needle device keeps the needle hidden at all times during the injection procedure. There is NO way for the operator to get stuck because of a sudden patient movement. It is designed also to lessen pain or needle "sting", and cannot be reused, which helps prevent transmission of disease.
Terumo invented the heart of blood collection needles, the blood stopper. While this part stops blood from leaking out, it also stops flashback vein entry indication (VEI). Terumo's Venoject® line put VEI back into blood collection, but these products are not available in the United States.
The Epiphany Safe Shot injection needle design features passive after-the-draw protection by automatically retracting the needle after use. This also helps ensure that the needle will not be reused, a problem worldwide and a major cause of death and disease in some poorer countries, like India.
It is vital to know the needle is inside the vein in order to correctly place a catheter. When collecting blood, it is just as important for safety to know that the needle is properly situated in the vein before attaching vacuum-sealed vials. Manufacturers know this is true, and have created devices with vein entry indication (VEI) for this very purpose. The problem is, while most devices like the ones shown above are available in many regions of the world, they are generally not available in the United States due to a combination of weak OSHA oversight, loopholes that make it legal for Group Purchasing Organizations to receive kickbacks for buying the less safe but more profitable needles, and manufacturers that care more about the bottom line than about saving lives and reducing suffering.
Join with us in demanding that these safter needles be made available to hospitals and healthcare workers in the United States, just as they are available in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa.