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Needle regulation causes criticism

20.02.2012. Austria -  Are doctors not allowed to place injections in inaccessible places – such as in the mouth – anymore in the future? Dentists fear a relapse to the circumstances of the 19th century if the new regulations take effect.

needle regulation

Their concern involves the so-called EU-"Needlestick regulation" that must be implemented in Austria no later than May 2013. Per the regulation, sharp instruments and needles can be used only if they reduce the risk for doctors and nurses to prick themselves. Veterinarians are also affected by the regulation.

The new needles have a protection with which the syringe can be closed after use. This protection takes place automatically. The problem, complain dentists, is that they will no longer be allowed to put syringes in the mouth. "The proposed regulation would mean that, dental treatment with local anesthesia is practically impossible. The standard of dealing with pain in dental treatment would abruptly be reversed by at least 150 years", is stated in the opinion of the dentist chamber.

The reason for the EU-action, which was passed two years ago, is the risk of injury for doctors and nurses. In Austria this concerns about 2000 cases a year. [Needlestick injuries] also carry infection risks in addition to the puncture wound. However, critics suspect that companies from the medical sector are hiding behind the initiative. The more sophisticated needles are, of course, also significantly more expensive.

Currently, efforts are being made to achieve derogations. The Ministry stated on Saturday that the regulation needed to be put in force, but that perhaps the Needlestick regulation still needs to be revised.

Source: Kleine Zeitung, Austria


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