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The Two Types of Needle Safety Device

A needle safety device is a safety feature on every needle that is used for blood draw in hospitals. This device must be able to contain the needle immediately so that both the patient and the physician or hospital staff is protected from the needle being accidentally injected into a person after its initial use. There are two different types of needle safety device; learn about both below.


An active needle safety device is a device that is activated when the user activates it. This often involves a type of shield that covers the exposed needle after it has been used. This shield is on a flat surface and is locked onto the exposed needle. The user must be trained on how to use this shield so that it is used properly, since it must be activated by the person using it.

Other forms of active devices include an extendable tube or a hinged cover. With both of these forms, the user must utilize them to cover the used needle to ensure it is not accidentally used again.


A passive device is one where the user does NOT have to activate it; instead, the device automatically retracts the needle into a cover when the needle is used. Most of these types of devices utilize a spring that will extend a type of cover onto the needle after the user presses on a plunger rod that will initiate the injection into the patient, withdraw it from the patient, then shield it. Some passive devices will use a type of threaded interface so that the physician can see the syringe and what it contains before and during the actual injection.

With passive devices, the responsibility of covering the used needle shifts from the user to the device itself; when the user utilizes the device, the device will automatically cover the needle to protect the patient and the user from accidentally being injected by the used needle. As a result, if the user knows how to use the device, all will be protected by the automatic safety system upon usage of the device.

Sharp Fluidics’ Operative Armour Needle Trap is the first needle safety device to allow a clinician to close surgical incisions without scrub tech assistance. Learn more about this and our other product offerings by scheduling a consultation.