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Reducing Scalpel Injuries —An Evaluation of Blade Removers


An estimated 8% of injuries to healthcare workers in the hospital setting and 17% of worker injuries in the surgical setting are associated with scalpels. Scalpel-related injuries occur most commonly when blades are being attached to or removed from the scalpel handle. In addition to posing infection concerns, such incidents carry a high risk of causing structural damage to the hand, requiring extensive intervention and rehabilitation. Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandates that employers "identify, evaluate, and implement" safer medical devices for healthcare workers, data indicates that such alternative devices are rarely used.

In December, ECRI published evaluation findings for 11 scalpel blade removers—devices designed to facilitate safe blade removal and exchange in a variety of settings. Join experts from our Device Evaluation team as they discuss how this technology impacts patient safety and how to determine the best product for your needs.

Learning Objectives

During this lab webcast, we will discuss:

  • The prevalence of scalpel-related injuries in healthcare
  • Products available and ECRI's testing methodology
  • Keys to successful implementation of the technology

Register to view recording


Julie Miller

Julie Miller, MS

Principal Project Engineer 1, Device Evaluation, ECRI
Julie has been at ECRI since 2013 and is a Principal Project Engineer in ECRI’s Device Evaluation group. Julie has a Master’s degree in Bioengineering and specializes in the evaluation of surgical technologies. Recent evaluations include scalpel safety devices, electrosurgical electrodes, surgical smoke evacuators, and powered and manual linear endoscopic surgical staplers.

Heather David

Heather David, MSN, CRNP

Patient Safety Analyst, ECRI
Heather is a Patient Safety Analyst for ECRI and the ISMP PSO. She assists members with patient safety and quality improvement initiatives, works with the PSO’s Causal Analysis and Client Learning Products and Solutions teams, and also collaborates with the Problem Reporting Network review team in ECRI’s Device Evaluation group. She has previous nursing experience in pediatrics, the perioperative setting, home care, ENT, and thoracic surgery, and is a licensed acute care nurse practitioner. Prior to ECRI, she worked in patient safety in a large healthcare organization in Philadelphia, PA.

Ron Stoker

Ron Stoker

Executive Director, International Sharps Injury Prevention Society
Ron Stoker is the founder and executive director of ISIPS, the International Sharps Injury Prevention Society. ISIPS is dedicated to the reduction of unnecessary needlestick and other sharps injuries by the promotion of safety products. Mr. Stoker has been involved in the medical device industry for over 35 years serving in Research and Development, Business Development, and Marketing positions. He has been issued 6 patents for a variety of medical devices. He is frequently asked to speak at various medical conferences and has chaired a number of sharps injury prevention meetings. He is a contributing author to many medical device journals with over 300 publications to date. Mr. Stoker holds a B.S. degree in Pre-medical Zoology from Brigham Young University and a M.S. degree in Bioengineering from the University of Utah.

Rob Schluth

Rob Schluth

Principal Project Officer 1, Device Evaluation, ECRI
Rob Schluth is a project leader focusing on content development and program management for ECRI's Device Evaluation group. During his 25 years at ECRI, Rob has contributed to hundreds of the organization's device evaluations, problem reports, and guidance articles spanning a wide range of health technologies. Rob currently manages special initiatives for the Device Evaluation team and leads the development of the organization's annual Top 10 Health Technology Hazards report.