Suture Needle Cover

The Suture Needle Cover secures needles during surgery, allowing them to be left safely within the surgical field while also protecting medical professionals and patients from accidental percutaneous injury.

Problem

Many surgical and trauma wounds need to be closed in multiple stages, requiring needles to be left in the operating field. However, keeping an unprotected needle in the surgical field presents a risk of accidental penetrating injury, or percutaneous injury, to both health care providers and patients.

Suture needles are a frequent cause of injury in surgical settings. Unprotected needles increase the risk of accidental needle-stick injuries during surgery or trauma repair.

Health care providers and surgical staff are at risk from exposure to unprotected needles contaminated by patients’ blood, and patients, in turn, are at risk from exposure to the blood of injured staff. This increases the risk of transmitting bloodborne pathogens, including hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Solution

The Suture Needle Cover captures and encloses suture needles still attached to the surgical site in order to protect physicians, nurses or patients from accidental needle-stick injuries while personnel attend to other parts of the surgical procedure or trauma repair.

The invention includes a range of small containers in various sizes and shapes to secure suture needles. After physicians begin suturing, they can place the needle in the holder, which has hinges that allow the container to be closed over the needle. A latch secures the cover of the holder, causing the container to enclose the needle with the suturing material still attached, keeping the needle sterile.

With the Suture Needle Cover health care professionals can begin suturing and then secure the needle within the holder until the procedure requires closing the wound.

Competitive Benefits

Safety Benefits

  • Prevents percutaneous injuries to health care professionals and patients
  • Secures and stabilizes suture needles
  • Allows needles to be passed safely between personnel
  • Maintains a sterile operating field
  • Decreases the risk of transmitting bloodborne pathogens
  • Assists medical facilities in complying with OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens standard

Design Benefits

  • The device’s symmetrical design allows for right- or left-hand use
  • The cover can be closed over a needle with a single gloved hand or a hemostat
  • A living hinge allows the latch to be opened and reopened whenever needed
  • The Suture Needle Cover makes suture needles harder to dislodge
  • The Suture Needle Cover can accommodate a variety of commonly used sizes of suture needles
  • The Suture Needle Cover eliminates the need for rethreading needles
  • Both disposable polypropylene versions and more environmentally-conscious, stainless steel versions have been designed

Application Fields

  • General surgery
  • Upper and lower extremities reconstructions

Stage of Development

A working prototype has been developed.

Inventor

Andrew Koman, MD
Orthopaedics

Patent Status

Provisional patent application filed September 29, 2014

Licensing Contact

John Druga
jdruga@wakehealth.edu
+1.336.716.4421

Reference #: WFU 14-52

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