Acute care needless connectors have become an integral part of healthcare following a steady growth curve since their early development in the 1980s. Needleless connectors have replaced needle-based catheters, syringes, and administration sets in developed regions due to the increasing awareness about the risk of needlestick injuries. Acute care, which usually contains a hematological component to diagnose or monitor the condition, is thus becoming a major application area for needless connectors.
According to Transparency Market Research, the global market for acute care needleless connectors is expected to exhibit a sturdy 10.20% CAGR between 2014 and 2020, with the market’s valuation rising to US$972 mn by the end of the forecast period. The increasing uptake of needless connectors in acute care settings to reduce the prevalence of needlestick injuries to hospital staff as well as patients is the prime driver for the global market.
What is the position of global healthcare bodies on the use of acute care needleless connectors?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 300,000 sharps-related (including needlesticks as well as scalpels and other sharp instruments) injuries occur among healthcare workers in the U.S. every year. While the number of sharps injuries fell by 31.6% over the 2001-2006 period for nonsurgical settings, the number of injuries in surgical settings increased by 6.5%. Acute care needlestick connectors, which are mostly used in nonsurgical settings such as diagnosis or monitoring, have thus been shown to be a contributing factor to a reduction in the decrease in sharps injuries.
Meanwhile, according to the WHO, more than 30% of healthcare workers suffering from hepatitis B or C contract the disease from a needlestick injury. While the number is much lower for HIV/AIDS contamination – around 4% – it still is a significant concern, considering the dire prognosis of the disease. As a result, the WHO also supports initiatives to increase the use of needless connectors.
What are the major restraints on the acute care needleless connectors market?
The high risk of catheter-related bloodstream infections following the use of needleless catheters is a major restraint on the global demand for acute care needleless connectors. Since this negates the purpose of installing catheter systems that are safer than the conventional options, the acute care needleless connectors industry has taken this issue seriously, and several research projects are underway to develop needleless catheters that do not cause infections.
The large number of players operating in the global acute care needleless connectors market also means there is a significant price difference between branded and generic products. This is another key restraint on the organized acute care needleless connectors market, as branded products often require a prohibitively high investment.
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On the other hand, the increasing demand for advanced healthcare solutions in emerging Asia Pacific, Middle Eastern, and Latin American economies is the key opportunity for manufacturers of acute care needleless connectors.