Marc Koska talked about the magnitude of the issue of reuse of syringes and needles across the globe. He cited that this practice kills 1.3 million people every year, surpassing the deaths caused by malaria annually (1 million). This is obviously tragic news, but until something is actively done to combat the practice, that number will only grow. Mr. Koska invented a syringe that cannot be reused in response to this problem, and it is really quite remarkable. The product is already being manufactured on existing machinery at the same cost as that of a normal syringe today. This is incredible for a step in the right direction in solving this issue, but I don’t think it will do much good if other economic and logistical issues are not addressed as well. The hospitals are not going to buy a syringe that can’t be reused if reusable ones are available for the same price. It does do some good to educate doctors and nurses in these places, but they are also operating on a tight budget and must make do with the resources they have. In addition, the sheer number of “normal” syringes that already exist in the world would not be phased out quickly or easily. Preventing more from being added to this number would help reduce exposure to used needles or syringes, but it could also make the “normal” ones a black-marketable item. This is obviously a hard issue to handle, but it does need to be addressed. If the new type of syringe were to be introduced, measures to reduce the amount of old models in circulation would need to be taken at the same time for any real gain to occur.
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