By Christina Mendat, PhD
This is the second in a six-part series on prefilled syringes where we address some issues we’ve encountered in our multiple client engagements.
Not all flanges are created equally. One place we often don’t see human factors used enough is when selecting a particular off-the-shelf component. A good feature to solicit input from a human factors professional is the flange. The flange is where the user places the fingers in order to carry out an injection.
Some companies have started to develop “extended flanges.” These extended flanges allow larger hands to more readily use the devices. They can truly improve the user experience especially when interacting with highly viscous drug products. Beware of these flanges, however, to make sure they stay on well. We have seen some flanges that, during use, slide off the syringe. If this were to happen during an actual injection, the result could be a painful experience for the patient.
Size DOES matter in this case. Extended flanges are great except when users cannot dispose of them properly. We have also seen examples of flanges that prevent disposal into traditional sharps containers (or take a good bit of manipulation to get them into the container).