Every year, scores of people get infected with various diseases because they were injected using unsterile and reused syringes. It’s unfortunate but it happens more often than you think. Case in point: according to the World Health Organization, 5% of all new HIV cases, 32% of all Hepatitis B cases, and 40%of Hepatitis C cases are caused by unsafe injections.
Aiming to come up with safer, tamper-proof syringes is Dr. David Swann from the Huddersfield University in England. He designed the ABC Syringe, which comes in a nitrogen-filled pack, that has a special coating of ink in its barrel that turns bright red after 60 seconds of exposure to air. Apparently, the ink absorbs the carbon dioxide from the air, causing the ink to change in color.
Dr. Swann explains: “When you compare a sterile syringe just out of its packaging with a syringe that’s been washed, how do you determine the difference? We conceived an intelligent ink that, if exposed to air by taking it out of the package or if the package is breached, would activate it and turn it red.” He adds that widespread use of his syringe within five years could prevent 700,000 unsafe injections being administered, saving $130 million in medical costs in the process.
What’s even more impressive is the fact that this technology adds just 1% to the retail price of the syringe, so it shouldn’t be to heavy on most healthcare providers’ budgets.
The ABC Syringe is a finalist at this year’s Index Awards.
VIA [ C|NET ]