Safety Engineered Devices : Use and Activation in Six Western US Hospitals

Authors:   Terry Grimmond

Publication:   "Safety Engineered Devices : Use and Activation in 6 Hospitals in US West"  J Assoc Occup Hlth Prof 2018;38(4):14-8. Author copy available at



What is the article?

This article asks, "Are we using Safety Engineered Devices (SEDs) frequently enough", in addition to, "Are we using the safest, clinically-acceptable SED available?" The study examines the contents inside of Daniels Sharpsmart reusable sharps containers to discern the practices of activating SEDs in five California hospitals and one Idaho hospital.


Design and Methods 

The contents of Daniels' Sharpsmart containers were safely decanted. Then the material was sorted into one of four categories to help examine activation rate:

  • Hollow-bore SED (activatable and non-activatable)
  • Hollow-bore Non-SED
  • Solid sharps and solid SED
  • Non-sharp wastes


What did we learn?

Once the 115 gallons of contents had been sorted - this gave insight into what percentage of SEDs were activated properly or not. Although 72% of the contents were activatable SED, about 4% of that total were only partially-activated or had been tampered with

While this is an improvement when compared to an SED Florida Audit in 2013, we need to aim for 100% SED activation rate and zero SED tampering. 


“A safe sharps containment system remains an essential part of Sharps Injury prevention”



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