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Hospital Study Identifies Syringe Plunger Contamination as Major Route of Exposure to Hazardous Drugs

PORT WASHINGTON, New York, March 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

Karmanos Cancer Center Study Finds EQUASHIELD® Superior to BD/Phaseal in Preventing Syringe Plunger Contamination by Hazardous Drugs

Equashield (, the leading provider of Closed System Transfer Devices (CSTD) for hazardous drugs, today announced that The Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice has published the results from a comparative study of Equashield's Closed System Transfer Device (EQUASHIELD®) versus Becton Dickinson (BD) (NYSE: BDX) syringes with the PhaSeal closed system.

The study found that BD's syringe plunger allowed repeatedly for high levels of syringe plunger contamination by hazardous drugs under routine drug preparation conditions, while EQUASHIELD® results demonstrated undetectable concentrations of contamination. This makes EQUASHIELD® the only available transfer device proven to protect medical professionals from plunger contamination.

"When EQUASHIELD® was first launched, we were immediately impressed with the system's innovative design and its ability to minimize dangerous exposure compared to other CSTD solutions," said Stephen T. Smith, MS, FASHP, Executive Director of Pharmacy Services at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center. "The results of our study confirmed this empirically."

The study, entitled "Syringe plunger contamination by hazardous drugs: A comparative study," was performed at the Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit.  Stephen T. Smith and  Mark C. Szlaczky, RPh, PharmD, performed comparative contamination level tests of 60ml BD syringe plungers with PhaSeal CSTD versus the 60ml EQUASHIELD® syringe plungers. Each syringe had Cyclophosphamide (a typical toxic chemotherapy drug) drawn in and expelled repeatedly under conditions of routine pharmacy compounding and transfer procedures.

ChemoGlo™, a specialized third-party laboratory, tested the 48 containers with wipe samples in its laboratory at detection level sensitivity of 10 ng and found BD syringes were contaminated in significant measures compared with undetectable contamination in the EQUASHIELD® syringe plungers.

The BD syringes use a standard open syringe barrel with a regular four rib plunger structure, common to most single use syringe systems. To prevent plunger contamination, EQUASHIELD® has a thin metal rod plunger and an encapsulated syringe barrel with an airtight seal.

"Like in previous studies, this study again found high contamination levels on the standard BD syringe plungers, a fact that suggests that Cyclophosphamide infiltrates the BD plungers during use of these syringes even with CSTDs. This poses a significant route of exposure to hazardous drugs that can contaminate an entire work area," explained Marino Kriheli, Co-Founder of Equashield. "Equashield's solution, on the other hand, has been clinically proven to prevent this contamination and create a safer environment for pharmacy personnel and nurses, as well as patients and their families."

The full study is available online and in an upcoming print issue of The Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners, the official publication of the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners (ISOPP).

Equashield will be exhibiting at The 19th Congress of the EAHP in Barcelona, March 26-28, 2014 (stand 37) and at HOPA's 10th Annual Conference in New Orleans, March 26-29, 2014 (booth 313).

# # #

About Equashield 

Equashield is a provider of the world's safest Closed System Transfer Devices (CSTD), clinically proven to protect healthcare professionals from hazardous drug and vapor exposure. The company's flagship device, EQUASHIELD® II, is the fastest CSTD to deploy and easiest to use.  It is also the only truly closed device on the market, covering more routes of exposure than alternative systems and protecting against exposure to hazardous drug residue on contaminated syringe plungers. For more information, visit the company's website at Follow Equashield on Twitter: @equashield.


Media Contact: 

Finn Partners for Equashield
Ellie Hanson
[email protected]

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