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This invention relates to a needle tip storage and removal device and in particular, but not exclusively, to a device for use with an injection device intended to inject a number of metered doses from a cartridge of therapeutic material.
In a conventional pen injector such as the Owen Mumford Autopen®, a cartridge of therapeutic substance is loaded into the cartridge holder and a single use needle tip is screwed onto the forward end of the device. The needle tip has a double-ended needle, the rear end of which penetrates a rubber membrane in the forward end of the cartridge as the needle tip is screwed on. A metered dose can then be dialled into the pen injector, the needle pushed into the injection site, and the trigger on the device actuated to inject the metered dose. After the injection, the needle tip should be removed from the device and discarded.
In many conventional arrangements, the exterior of the needle tip hub is provided with splines and the needle tip is supplied in a foil-sealed container, having a complementary splined socket in which the needle hub is supplied. To use such a needle tip, the foil is removed and the needle, whilst still shrouded by the container is screwed onto the injection device using the container as a spanner. Once fully home, the container may be withdrawn axially leaving the needle exposed, although in some instances a removable secondary needle shield is provided. Following injection, the user may slide the container back onto the needle hub and use it as a spanner to remove the needle tip. The needle tip can then be safely discarded because the used needle is now re-enclosed by the container. This system works extremely well provided the user retains the container and uses it to remove the needle tip immediately after the injection. However, in many instances, users may not follow the recommendation to change the needle tip after each injection and may instead use the same needle tip for several injections over an extended period. In this case they may have discarded the original container and so may be left to remove the needle tip by unscrewing it whilst the needle is still exposed. This provides a risk of needle stick injury both whilst removing the needle tip and when it is discarded. Alternatively, they may inject themselves and then leave the needle in place, covering it with the device cap, and then remove the needle only when they wish to replace with a new needle. Again, this poses a risk of needle stick injury.
We have designed an arrangement to reduce these risks.
Accordingly, this invention provides a needle tip storage and removal device comprising a storage compartment for receiving in use a needle tip of a given drive configuration, said storage compartment having a drive socket for non-rotatably engaging a drive surface on a needle tip received in use in said compartment, said device including a further drive socket adapted to be fittable onto a needle tip of said given drive configuration.
In this manner, if a user finds that they have lost the original container when they wish to replace a needle tip, they can use the drive socket on the new container.
Although the further drive socket could simply comprise for example a drive or spanner ring to assist removal of the old needle tip and thereby reducing the risk of injury, it is preferred for it to form part of a removal compartment provided alongside said first mentioned removal compartment. In this way, the old needle can be fitted into the removal compartment to shield the exposed needle portion to allow safer disposal. Likewise, both compartments are preferably open at one end to receive the needle tip and closed at the other end to shroud the exposed needle.
Preferably the compartments are arranged side by side and advantageously with their open ends facing in opposite directions.
Preferably said device comprises a single storage compartment and a single removal compartment.
The invention also extends to a needle tip storage and removal device as described above, in combination with a needle tip located in said storage compartment, the storage compartment being sealed by a removable sealing element, and the removal compartment being initially empty.
Whilst the invention has been described above, it extends to any inventive combination of the features set out above, or in the following description or claims.
The invention may be performed in various ways, and an embodiment thereof will now be described by way of example only, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic top plan view of a needle tip storage and removal device in accordance with this invention, and
FIG. 2 is a general perspective view of the device of FIG. 1 with a used needle tip in the removal compartment.
The device illustrated in the Figures is intended to store a needle tip 10 for being screwed onto the end of a pen injector type device, and to remove the needle tip after use and to shield the forward part of the needle after use.
The needle tip may be a Unifine® pen tip. The pen tip comprises a threaded collar 12 having external splines 14 with a double ended needle 16 having a forward part 16′ projecting forwardly of the collar 18 and a rearward part 16″ extending rearwardly but not projecting beyond the rearward surface of the collar. The device in this embodiment includes a storage compartment 20 having a complementarily splined sockets 22 into which the drive collar can be slid with the needle guarded by the distal end of the compartment 20. The storage compartment 20 is sealed by a peelable sealing foil element 24. Alongside the storage compartment 20 is a removal compartment 26 which also has a complementarily splined socket 22′ and a needle shrouding portion and is generally similar to the configuration of the storage compartment, although the removal compartment may be designed to have snap lock means or the like to permanently capture the used needle tip.
In use, assuming that the pen injector already has a used needle attached, the removal compartment 26 is slid over the used needle and turned to unscrew the needle tip and to leave it in the removal compartment, with the used exposed needle shrouded by the compartment. Having done this, the foil 24 may be peeled off the storage compartment 20 and the new needle tip 10 screwed onto the device. The needle tip storage and removal device can then be discarded.