Thiruvananthapuram: In a major breakthrough, a doctor in Kerala has developed a cheap, effective and eco-friendly medical syringe that can never be reused.
"The Peanut Safe Syringe becomes absolutely redundant after its first use. Neither the syringe nor the needle can ever be reused. Scavengers will never be able to collect, repack and sell it in the market," said Baby Manoj, a radiologist from Kozhikode, who invented the syringe.
The syringe can be used for injection as well as blood aspiration in a single sitting. In other syringe models, separate devices are needed for each procedure.
For his product, Manoj last week received Best Invention Awards for 2011 from the National Research Development Corporation, an undertaking of the science and technology ministry, and World Intellectual Property Organisation at a function in New Delhi.
A World Health Organisation report says more than 20 million people are infected with HIV and hepatitis every year and 1.3 million of them die.
The infection is spreading because around 600 crore used syringes come back in the market without being sterilised.
Over a million blood infections occur annually in India leading to HIV and hepatitis, and around 300,000 of the infected people die.
Manoj has developed a disposable syringe whose needle and barrel can be disabled quickly after injection. He did this by creating a groove around the hub of the syringe to which the needle is connected.
After use, a slight manual pressure on the groove breaks the needle and the barrel, which is its critical component.
The needle, which is a major disease-transferring component, is disabled as the broken piece of the barrel is tightly packed inside the needle's plastic connector.
"It is as simple as breaking a peanut shell and so I have called it Peanut Safe," he said.
He said the name of the product was derived from a riddle.
"Break open a peanut shell, eat the nuts and nobody will use it again. This is true of Peanut Safe syringes too. Open the cover and you will get a syringe which nobody has ever used before. Use it and no one can use it ever again," Manoj said.
Manoj has patented the product and plans to start marketing it soon.