B. Braun Introduces the Perifix Safety Epidural Needle to Reduce Needlestick Injuries For Anesthesia Providers

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- B. Braun Medical Inc. will introduce the

Perifix Safety Epidural Needle during the American Society of

Anesthesiologists (ASA) 2003 annual meeting, Oct. 11-15, 2003, in San

Francisco. The needle is designed to protect against accidental

needlestick injuries during administration of epidural anesthesia, while

offering virtually no change in technique.

Unlike ordinary hypodermic needles, the epidural needle has a unique shape

designed to facilitate locating the epidural space, and to introduce a thin,

plastic catheter tube to deliver anesthetics that relieve pain. Since the

anesthesia provider cannot see the tip of the epidural needle as it is

directed toward the central nervous system of the patient, he or she must

rely on the tactile sensations or "feel" transmitted back through the needle

as it is slowly advanced through tissue in the lower back to the epidural

space. Over a period of time, anesthesia providers develop an intimate

"feel" for their particular epidural needle.

B. Braun developed the Perifix Safety Epidural Needle to protect against

accidental needlestick injuries during administration of epidural

anesthesia, while preserving the familiar "feel" of its market leading

epidural needle. As the needle is withdrawn from the patient's back, the

anesthesia provider advances a small deployment shroud containing a safety

clip toward the tip of the epidural needle. The clip engages over the tip

of the epidural needle and locks into place reducing the risk of accidental

needlestick injury.

"In developing the Perifix Safety Epidural Needle, we faced the challenge of

designing a safety epidural needle that would protect against accidental

needlestick injuries without changing the acquired feel the anesthesia

provider developed with non-safety epidural needles," said Brad Lane,

director of pain control for B. Braun Medical. "To solve this problem, we used

the safety clip design concept found in the highly successful B. Braun

Introcan Safety IV Catheter and B. Braun Surecan Safety Huber Needle.

This allowed us to design a safety epidural needle with a proven, effective

safety mechanism that preserves the critical 'feel' of the needle."

The Perifix Safety Epidural Needle is a key component in B. Braun's

forthcoming line of safety epidural procedural trays. In addition to other

safety-oriented components, these trays will feature needle-free

alternatives like B. Braun's FilterSTRAW particulate matter filter and the

MICRO-PIN vial access pin for aspirating fluids from ampoules and vials.

B. Braun is touting a "Think Yellow. Think Safety" campaign in support

of the product launch since some of the safety devices in B. Braun trays are

colored yellow to differentiate the epidural access point from other medical

devices.

"Pressure is building on healthcare providers to comply with OSHA safety

mandates, emerging federal and state legislation, JCAHO directives, and

local risk management policies," says Lane. "Our new line of pain control

safety products gives facilities compliance options they can exercise when

the need arises."

Source: B. Braun

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