Needlestick injuries represent a massive problem and a threat to healthcare workers across the world. It is in fact the most commonly reported occupational hazard in healthcare globally. In Europe alone, statistics show that the risk applies to almost one in three healthcare workers.
Studies indicate that around 1 million needlestick injuries occur annually in Europe’s 3.5 million healthcare workers. On average and on a global basis, more than 80,000 healthcare workers get infected with HBV, HCV and HIV as a result of needlestick injuries each year.
The statistics are indeed frightening, but there is a lot that can be done to prevent and in time even eliminate needlestick injuries.
The Swedish medical technology company Vigmed is committed to an, at first glance, simple idea; to eliminate needlestick injuries. The process, however, is far more complicated as all levels of policy-makers, regulators, healthcare managers and workers must be provoked to action.
Vigmed has developed some of the world’s first set of safe needles and catheters, automatically preventing needlestick injuries before, during and after use. The medical devices look and feel familiar but are automatically safer. There are no complicated safety procedures that take too much time away from the patient. And – the solutions are affordable.
“Both in Europe and the USA, legislation regarding needlestick injuries is in place. So the first important steps have been taken. What we offer does not involve a change of traditional procedures, only an addition that increases safety for both patients and healthcare workers. This makes our products widely acceptable and applicable throughout the entire healthcare system”, says Vigmed CEO Finn Ketler.
Over 100 employment opportunities likely
The roots of Vigmed stretch far back. The company is built on knowledge dating back to the 1920s and the old medical device company Viggo, a company that in its prime had several hundred employees in Helsingborg. In a way, Vigmed has resurrected the very best attributes of Viggo, bringing Per Knutsson’s innovation, namely the safe injection needle, to market.
Today, Vigmed is an innovative company with great potential. Thanks to valuable support from Bure Equity, the company has been able to invest more in product development, marketing and sales.
“Within a few years, it is likely that our business can generate over 100 employment opportunities in Sweden”, says Finn Ketler.
Changing the future for healthcare workers
Finn Ketler explains that the current management and development team consists of experts from Sweden, Denmark and the UK. “By combining the Swedish expertise in engineering, product development and logistics with Danish and British commercial know-how, we have formed the foundation for a most successful business here at the heart of Medicon Valley”.
The production of Vigmed’s safe needles is managed by controlled outsourcing. It is still hard to predict whether Vigmed will be able to recreate the production facility that Viggo and later on Becton Dickinson had in Helsingborg, but one thing is for sure: Vigmed is determined to eliminate the risks of needlestick injuries and change the future for healthcare workers worldwide.