Dialysis needle sharpness test for patient comfort – case study


Kawasumi Laboratories Inc. was founded in 1957 as Japan’s first manufacturer of disposable plastic medical devices for blood collection and transfusion purposes. Amongst the variety of hemodialysis and plasmapheresis products the company has developed is a range of ‘painless’ arteriovenous (AV) needles for dialysis. The design of this ‘constant-site cannulation’ (or ‘buttonhole technique) needle is optimized to minimize tissue damage and hence reduce pain, prevent risk of damage to the fistula itself and guard against accidental needlestick. Silicone application technology and a unique bevel geometry are keys to achieving these patient comfort objectives. The ‘constant-site cannulation’ device has a “non-sharp” point as insertion occurs at a pre-existing site tunnel. Kawasumi Laboratories required a capability to test alternative prototype needle designs to evaluate, and hence control, the level of discomfort experienced by the patient.