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Nov 14, 2010 5:29 PM by Dr. Anya Winslow

Taking the ouch out of shots: Colorado-based company introduces a new needle-free technology

Grimacing faces and shots involving needles may become a thing of the past.

PharmaJet®, based out of Golden, Colorado, introduced a needle-free injection device for vaccine and drug delivery in 2009.

A little over three weeks ago The Little Clinic, located in several Colorado King Soopers stores, began offering flu vaccines to the public using the hand-held device.

The system works by creating a high pressure that forces liquid medicine through the skin and into the muscle.

Device design is simple. Inside the apparatus is a spring. When the springs is pulled back and then released, it generates a high pressure that is applied to the liquid medicine inside a container.

The high pressure causes the fluid inside of the container to reach a high velocity once it is pushed through an extremely small hole, which is approximately the size of three hairs.

Receiving the injection takes less time than the traditional-needled method.

"People have received it very nicely," says nurse Karen Migliaccio, "Especially children. They're very excited that there isn't a needle and after the procedure they say, ‘Yeah, it stung a little bit,' but there hasn't been the tears. They're very excited that they got their shot and didn't cry."

Advantages of this system extend far beyond tear-free patients.

It's a green system - the cartridges are completely recyclable. "We no longer need a sharps container and we don't have to have a special waste system," adds Migliaccio, which also drives down costs.

Heath care professionals are no longer at risk at being stuck with the needle after it is used on a patient. This means that the potential for disease transfer or infection is also eliminated.

PharmaJet® hopes that the depot of medicines and vaccines that can be delivered using their technology expands; and plans for a system that delivers medication to a shallower depth under the skin is underway.

Several states are using this technology. Click here to find out where you can receive your needle-free shots.

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