ABC Syringe

  • Project Leader

    David Swann

  • Organisation

    University of Huddersfield

  • Designed By

    David Swann

  • Project Location

    India and beyond

  • Project website


  • Name of nominating Icsid Member organisation

    Royal College of Art

Led by David Swann, this pilot study empowers patients to have a voice in their care provision by being able to tell if the syringe being used in their care is new. Using a simple label, which changes colour when taken out of its packaging, this innovation provides a solution to one of the priorities of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

  • Unsafe injections lead to 1.3 million deaths.
  • In India alone, 63% of injections are administered in an unsafe environment.
  • 100% of participants were able to distinguish an unsafe injection from a safe one in user testing.
  • The cost of adding this technology to existing syringes is GBP £0.008.

“Teaching about the perils of reuse of syringes is a fundamental part of medical training and yet, throughout the developing world, reuse continues to be a generally accepted practice. Part of this is because there is no immediate feedback that something is wrong. The product described—ABC Syringe—an indicator showing prior exposure to air and therefore non-sterile, is to my knowledge unique.” — Peter Evans, former Lead for World Health Organisation (WHO) Procurement Worldwide & Project Lead: Auto–Disable Syringes.