Jet Injection Technology

Needle-free jet injection technology is such a great model to help contribute to medical staff efficiency and address the needle phobia issue in our world. Because of this, inventors went back to the drawing board. There had to be a way to use this technology without spreading diseases to other people. Today, jet injectors in the medical field are being used for multiple applications including vaccines, insulin, and lidocaine. Due to the concern of transferring bloodborne disease from patient to patient the devices have been remodeled to conform to personal or single use options. The mechanisms to these devices are made differently but all have a way to provide single use applicators to prevent the spread of diseases from patient to patient.

History of Jet Injection

Have you ever wondered what happened to vaccine jet injectors and where they started? Going back, jet injection technology has been around for some time and was used for different applications.

Jet injection was originally discovered in the 19th century on accident while using high powered grease guns. The first documented accidental jet injection injuries were in 1925 and 1937, 1 both cases involved diesel fuel. In the 1937 case a middle-aged mechanic had accidentally injected his right-hand middle finger while he was testing a jet injector on a diesel engine. He waited 24 hours before going to see a doctor resulting in the loss of that finger. The man complained of pain and bleeding at the sight of injection immediately after the accident.2 Over the years more cases similar to this injury were documented. The event that occurred in 1937 sparked the idea of using jet injection technology for medical use.

Bringing Vaccinations to The World

Many people contributed to the jet injection technology world. One of the pioneers, Dr. Robert Hingson introduced the “Hingson Peace Gun” 3 in 1956 as part of immunization projects trying to reach the worldwide population. A man by the name of Arron Ishmach was also a pioneer in bringing vaccines to the masses by his invention called the “ped-o-jet” in the 1960’s.4 He refined the technology to create an injector that did not rely on electricity and could be brought out into the field. Both of these men used their inventions in the movement to eradicate smallpox from the world. According to the WHO (World Health Organization) smallpox was eradicated in 1980.⁵

Needle-free jet injection technology in the medical field was also used for the military as a way to provide vaccines to troops in a fast and efficient manner starting in the 1950’s. It is estimated that 1,000 injections were given to troops per hour. 6 These injectors were bulky, multiuse, and were made of various parts. The injectors had different nozzles to enter different levels of the skin and were hooked up to a tank that sent pressurized gas through the machine to penetrate the skin without the use of a needle.  The jet injectors were widely used throughout the U.S. Military because they saved time for the medical staff during the process of assembling individual doses in syringes for each patient. It also helped to prevent accidental needle injuries when prepping for the vaccine and administering it. These vaccines were painfully propelled into the muscle or subcutaneous tissue and usually left a scar at the site of injection. Many people from that generation to this day still have a circular scar on their upper arm. Even though these needle-free injection systems helped the fight to vaccinate the world, they were later declared to be associated with spreading disease.7

Jet Injector Downfall

In the 1980’s an outbreak of Hepatitis B was found to be connected with jet injections administered at a weight clinic.  There were 31 cases of hepatitis B recorded from patients that received jet injections at the same clinic. An investigation on this clinic took place which “demonstrated that Jet injectors can become contaminated with hepatitis B virus and then may be vehicles for its transmission.” 8 This clinic stopped the use of jet injectors in July of 1985. 8 A few years after the Hepatitis B outbreak soldiers from the generation of jet injection vaccines began to make claims that their diagnosis with hepatitis C was a result of the multi-use jet injectors.

“It’s widely reported that up to 1 in 10 Vietnam veterans have hepatitis C – roughly five times higher than the rate of the overall population.” (Leung) 6 A large majority of veterans diagnosed with Hep C blame their diagnosis on jet injectors and their unsanitary conditions from person to person. It was also advised that anyone who received a vaccination by needless injector should be tested for hepatitis C.  Jet injectors were made with the best intentions and helped to prevent multiple diseases through out the world, but their poor sanitation procedures resulted in the end to an era. Because of these claims, in December 1997 the Defense Medical Standardization Board stated all jet injector devices be discontinued for the U.S. Military. 9

New Beginning to Jet Injection Technology

This technology has come such a long way and gives patients options when it comes to their medical care. National Medical Products Inc. wants to help in this industry giving patients a virtually pain free experience. The J-TipTM Needle-Free Injection System is a single use device that has been used for 10 years now in IV starts as a way to provide pain management to patients. You can reach out to one of our representatives to learn more about the J-Tip and how it can help you by calling (949) 768-1147.

Bibliography

  1. Sarad, Sanjay (2012 Nov-Dec) “High-Pressure Injection Injury of The Finger,” Retrieved June 6, 2018 from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3543897/
  2. Rees CE (11 September 1937). “Penetration of tissue by fuel oil under high pressure from diesel engine”. JAMA. 109 (11): 866–7. Retrieved June 7, 2018 from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/278506
  3. Featured Exhibit: History of Anesthesiology “Hingson Peace Gun,” Retrieved June 4, 2018 from: https://www.woodlibrarymuseum.org/museum/item/109/hingson-peace-gun
  4. Woodward, Billy (n.d) “Jet Injector Makes Vaccinators Fly Through Their Work,” Retrieved June 4, 2018: http://www.scienceheroes.com/index.php?Itemid=165&id=166&option=com_content&view=article
  5. (n.d) “Smallpox Vaccines,” Retrieved June 4, 2018 from: http://www.who.int/csr/disease/smallpox/vaccines/en/
  6. Leung, Lily (Feb 17, 2016) “Vietnam vets blame ‘jet guns’ for their hepatitis C,” Retrieved June 7, 2018 from: https://www.ocregister.com/2016/02/17/vietnam-vets-blame-jet-guns-for-their-hepatitis-c/
  7. Weniger B.G, T. S. Jones2, R. T. Chen3 (n.d.) “The Unintended Consequences of Vaccine Delivery Devices Used to Eradicate Smallpox: Lessons for Evaluating Future Vaccination Methods,” Retrieved June 4, 2018 from: http://www.hcvets.com/data/occupational/munji/2008_unintendedconsequences.htm
  8. Canter Jeffrey; Mackey, Katherine; Good, Loraine (Sept 1990) “An Outbreak of Hepatitis B Associated With Jet Injections in a Weight Reduction Clinic,” Retrieved June 7, 2018 from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/613868
  9. (Sept 21,2017) “The Downfall of Ped-O-Jet Injectors Within the U.S. Military,” Retrieved June 7, 2018 from: https://jetinfectors.com/2017/09/21/the-downfall-of-ped-o-jet-injectors-within-the-u-s-military/