Image Number 14 for United States Patent #5662617.
A protective barrier assembly for shielding a piercing element such as a pointed needle cannula or blunt ended cannula during or after use of a medical implement. The piercing element includes a longitudinal axis, a length, a distal end which may be pointed or blunt, a proximal end and a passageway therethrough. The assembly may include a hub configured for mounting to a medical implement such as a syringe or evacuated tube holder and having an axial opening through it for receiving the needle so that the distal end of the needle projects outwardly. The assembly also includes a shield with an open end, a closed end, and a sidewall portion with a longitudinal slot extending from the open end toward the closed end. The shield has a first position exposing the needle and a second position wherein the shield obstructs unintentional access to the needle. The shield may be mounted to the hub by a hinge opposite the slot, so that when the slot is moved from the first position to the second position, the slot provides clearance for the needle. A retaining and/or locking mechanism may be incorporated as part of the shield or made integral with the hinge so as to retain/lock the shield in the second position.