Best invention: A syringe that can’t be reused

TRIVANDRUM — In a major breakthrough, a doctor from Kerala has sought to solve the problem of blood infection through syringes by inventing a cheap, effective and eco-friendly medical syringe that can never be reused.

By (T.K. Devasia)

Published: Tue 26 Feb 2013, 12:30 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 3:34 PM

The unique syringe called Peanut Safe Syringe, developed by Dr Baby Manoj, a Calicut-based radiologist, has been selected by the Indian National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) and the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organisation for their Best Invention Award for the Year 2011.

The two awards were presented to Dr Manoj at a function held at NRDC in New Delhi. The syringe was adjudged the winner from among 74 entries. Neither the syringe nor the needle of the new device can be reused as they become absolutely redundant after its first use. The needle and barrel of the Peanut Safe Syringe can be disabled quickly after an injection.

Dr Manoj has done this by creating a groove around the hub of the syringe to which the needle is connected. After use, a slight manual pressure on the groove breaks the needle and the barrel, which is its critical component. The needle, which is the major disease transferring component, is disabled as the broken piece of the barrel is tightly packed inside the needle’s plastic connector.

The new product may solve the nagging problem of blood infection through syringes troubling the medical community the world over. According to a WHO report, more than 20 million people are infected with HIV and hepatitis every year through blood and 1.3 million of them die.

In India, over a million blood infections occur annually and around 300,000 of the infected people die for no fault of theirs. It all happens because six billion used syringes come back in the market without being sterilised.

WHO identifies South East Asia, including India, as a big market for syringe scavenging, recollection and packaging. The WHO banned the use of ordinary syringes way back in 2003, but the safe syringes could never gain enough acceptance.

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