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Posted: 10/10/2002 11:14:44 PM EDT
Greetings LEOs. How big of a threat is a needlestick from used syringes? The reason I ask is I have recently become involved providing needle destruction devices for the NW Washington area. Law enforcement agencies is one of my contact groups. I have no background on what is currently done to protect officers from needles when they are found. Would anyone be willing to shed some light on this from some experiences?
Link Posted: 10/10/2002 11:48:25 PM EDT
A sharps container in every patrol vehicle is a must! If the needle is used as evidence we have plastic tube things that they go in. Working narcotics I am in a big risk for getting needle sticks. medcop
Link Posted: 10/11/2002 8:51:17 AM EDT
Medcop, Thank you for the feedback. This is the needle destruction device... [img]http://www.needlezap.com/images/insert.gif[/img] [img]http://www.needlezap.com/images/burn.gif[/img] [img]http://www.needlezap.com/images/result.gif[/img] It uses an electric arc to incinerate the needle(metal part)at 2000 degrees. Then the "blunt" and syringe body can go into the sharps bin or biohaz tube. The goal is to reduce officer needlesticks by introducing an "engineering control" which destroys the sharp part before an injury can occur. I talked with a property room officer who was recently stuck. Now they will not accept syringes unless part of a death or assault case. Would officers use such a device?
Link Posted: 10/11/2002 9:12:11 AM EDT
What would happen if I stuck the tip of a .223 round in there with a pair of Visegrips?
Link Posted: 10/11/2002 11:02:26 AM EDT
I am not sure if departments would use that or not. The tubes I was talking about that we use for evidence have a cork in the bottom of them. The needle goes into the cork to make it "safe" for anyone handling the needle. Also the plastic is very heavy to also prevent the needle from going through. Depending on the case what you want from the syringe is stuck in the needle itself. Any DNA evidence will probably be in the needle as well as any narcotic evidence. medcop
Link Posted: 10/11/2002 6:00:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/11/2002 7:15:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/11/2002 11:10:44 PM EDT
Heres the statistics I have been given... There are 600,000-800,000 occupational needlesticks reported per year. This includes healthcare workers, law enforcement, hotel housekeeping staff, janitors, tattoo artists, body piercers etc. [b]95% of reported needlesticks are to the opposite hand[/b]. Of the groups who encounter needlesticks law enforcement are at a higher risk to bloodborn pathogens like HIV, Hep B and Hep C. This is because the source of the found syringes are often IV drug users who are higher risk for the mentioned infectious diseases. Because the needle destruction device(NDD)is intentionally designed to be operated by a single hand, this minimizes/eliminates the opposite hand exposure. The goal is to improve safety by changing procedure. The NDD is a mobile unit which would be used BETWEEN the acquisition of the needle(the most dangerous part) destruction with the NDD, and the disposal of the blunt in a sharps or biohazard container(depending on local, county, and state laws for bio-waste) or logging into evidence. This product is a direct result of the November 2001 change in the OSHA standard requiring an "engineering control" for occupations where any needle exposure can occur.
Link Posted: 10/12/2002 12:02:58 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/19/2002 9:23:53 AM EDT
Thank you for your feedback on the NDD. After an interesting week of talking with LEOs, Health care providers, Hotels, and Restaurants I have gleaned the following.... 1. Law Enforcement seems to have many different policies depending on city, county and state. Some LEOs can not handle a syringe once it is detected-they send a cadet with a sharps box to pick it up. At my local PD, these found syringes cannot even be booked into evidence because of the sharp hazaard. The PD is thinking that if the needle has been destroyed, then they would be able to use the syringe contents as evidence. I know meth is being focused on in our region so this could help build stronger cases. The NDD will make the officers and evidence tech safer. Also, about 7% of needlesticks occur when the syringe is being deposited into the sharps box. If the NDD was used, this threat could be eliminated. 2. Healthcare...Most have switched to a shielded needle and needless IVs. If we could only get the dopers to do this. 3. Hotels...They have no standard. Responses have ranges from flushing, throwing in the garbage, enclosing in a milk carton and garbaging, requesting pickup from police, duct taping and breaking needle off. 4. Retaurants...Same as hotels I will be checking in with more LE agencies and corrections next week. Thank you again for the feedback.
Link Posted: 10/28/2002 7:56:54 PM EDT
Just last week a guy on my shift was picking up a needle with a cap on it. Turns out the nedle was bent and had pierced the cap. He realized all this when he saw the needle sticking out of his glove. Fortunately he didn't get stuck. Thank God he wore his gloves. No viewpoint on the subject, just a story
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