FDA, NIOSH, OSHA Urge Use of Blunt-Tip Suture Needles

Their May 30 joint safety communication document strongly encourages their use for suturing fascia and muscle, as a way to prevent needlestick injuries.

A new joint safety communication document from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, NIOSH, and OSHA strongly encouraging surgeons, peri-operative nurses, surgical residents, medical school administrators and faculty, surgeon educators, and hospital risk managers to make sure blunt-tip suture needles are used for suturing fascia and muscle.

The four-page document explains why using blunt-tip needles will reduce the possibility of needlestick injuries. They are not as sharp as standard suture needles; they are FDA-regulated and have been sold in the United States for more than 25 years, the document states.

They also are recommended in OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standard.

The document is available at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/bbp/pdfs/Blunt-tip_Suture_Needles_Safety.pdf.

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