An Israeli innovation is helping to keep American hospital workers safe. Equashield’s needle, a specially-designed syringe that prevents nurses from being exposed to dangerous chemotherapy agents, is now being used in wards throughout the United States to eliminate contamination of antineoplastic drugs and limit worker exposure to the chemicals.

“It’s a major problem,” said Eric Shem-Tov, CEO of Israeli biotech company Equashield. “The only way to avoid this is with a sterile transfer system that ensures that the medicine remains uncontaminated, as do workers, and our product helps accomplish this.”

Accidental spills, missed jabs and vapor leaks can cause antineoplastic drugs to enter the atmosphere. For nurses and other staff who work with these drugs on a daily basis, the effect of the contamination can be detrimental to health.

Equashield’s innovation works by “maintaining constant equal pressure inside the vial, thus preventing the escape of vapors and aerosols and providing full aerosol and vapor protection,” according to Shem-Tov, who added that that syringe is easy to use and eliminates many of the cumbersome anti-contamination steps that must be employed without the Equashield system in place.

First adopted by the Cleveland Clinic in 2010, the original Equashield syringe is now used in hospitals throughout the United States, and according to Shem-Tov, orders are brisk. The Equashield team is also working to improve on the original syringe, with a new model that offers even more safety features, but in an easier to use design.

“By covering more routes of exposure than ever, our new product is a truly closed system, and as such, provides medical professionals with unprecedented safety,” Shem-Tov said of the Equashield II, which is not yet on the market.

However, Shem-Tov is confident that this Israeli innovation will not only keep American workers safe but also will help build provide stable employment for workers in northern Galilee.

“We are building a large new factory in northern Israel, because I anticipate needing much more production capacity in the next few years,” Shem-Tov said. “I can promise the people who work for me lots of work for many years to come.”

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