The most widely-used multi-use nozzle jet injector in the world was the concept of Lieutenant Colonel R.B. Lindberg and Lieutenant Colonel Abram Benenson who wanted to improve upon the faults of the Press-O-Jet. In 1957, LT CO Lindberg and LT CO Benenson brought their concept to Aaron Ismach and Chester Eppley at the United States Army’s Medicinal Equipment Development Laboratory at Fort Totten, New York (Benenson, 1959). Mr. Ismach developed a prototype injector and patented the invention in his own name on December 14th of 1959. The Multi-Dose Jet Injector, also known as the Automatic Jet Hypodermic Injection Apparatus, was an electrical unit which comprised of two hydraulic lines attached to a pistol looking injection device (Ismach, 1962). The device was field tested upon military personnel at Fort Leonard Wood around 1959-1960 (Army, 2002).
By July of 1963, Mr. Ismach and his colleagues at Fort Totten developed a foot-operated jet injector. This non-electric unit, generated its energy source after the vaccinator actuated a foot-pedal (Army, 1963; Army, 1964a; Army 1964b). This pedal-operated-jet became more popularly known as the Ped-O-Jet. The name Ped-O-Jet was first used in commerce around October of 1968 and was trademarked July 8th of 1969 (Trademarkia).
Ismach and his colleagues also invented an intradermal nozzle to deliver shallower injections. “[This] tip greatly broadens its potential application, such as an anesthesia control device, tuberculosis testing, and smallpox vaccinations” (Army, 1964b). The nozzle could be swapped-out with the standard nozzle. Ismach filed a patent for his intradermal nozzle on March 25th of 1963 (Ismach, 1964). In the following year, he was awarded the Exceptional Civilian Service Award at the Eighth Annual Secretary of the Army Awards ceremonies for his invention of the intradermal nozzle (Army, 1968).
Officially there is a distinction in the names between the electrical (Multi-Dose Jet Injector) and foot-pedal (Ped-O-Jet) models. Although many have come to know these devices synonymously under the name Ped-O-Jet.
The Scientific Equipment Manufacturing Corporation (SEMCO) of Lodi, New Jersey and Larchmont, New York, became the sole producer of Ismach’s inventions. Ownership of the Ped-O-Jet devices exchanged hands over the next several decades from SEMCO to Vernitron Medical Products, Inc. of Carlstadt, New Jersey, to Stirn Industries of Dayton, New Jersey, to Ped-O-Jet Internaional / Keystone Industries (Ped-O-Jet International) of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
In 1997, Keystone Industries decided to no longer produce or service Ped-O-Jet injectors due to liability concerns that the devices could transmit blood-borne viruses, such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV. Keystone informed their largest customer, the Department of Defense, of the possible risk in a letter. The Department of Defense banned the use of all multi-use nozzle jet injectors in 1997. The Downfall of Ped-O-Jet Injectors Within the U.S. Military
These devices were widely used amongst national and global mass vaccination campaigns, and throughout the U.S. military.
In 1961, the Department of the Army made a significant and notable change within its immunization program by standardizing multi-use nozzle jet injectors (Army, 1961). Military personnel, especially recruits, were now immunized with jet injectors and seldom with syringes and needles.
After the invention of the Ped-O-Jet, the devices were quickly used by the U.S. Army to assist in epidemic crises overseas. In 1963, the Ped-O-Jet was employed to immunize victims of a devastating earthquake in Skopje, Yugoslavia and later in Morocco to protect flood victims against typhoid (Army, 1964a).
Ped-O-Jet devices were widely-used across all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces for nearly 40 years (1959-1997).
The photographs below show military corpsmen utilized Ped-O-Jet injectors on civilians in Vietnam.
In this photograph, a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman inoculates a flood refugee against cholera at the refugee center on Nui Sam mountain, Chau Doc Province, Vietnam, 1966.
(National Archives and Record Administration photo no. 541855).
- (Army, 1961) Department of the Army. Annual Report of the Surgeon General United States Army Fiscal Year 1961.
- (Army, 1963) Army Research and Development. Medical Equipment. Department of the United States Army. Dec’63-Jan’64. pp. 29-30.
- (Army, 1964a) Army Research and Development. In-House Labs Independent Research Holds $10 Million Level. Department of the United States Army. February 1964. pg. 6.
- (Army, 1964b) Army Research and Development. R&D Personnel Win Army Exceptional Civilian Decorations. Department of the United States Army. October 1964. pg. 3.
- (Army, 1968) Army Research and Development. “1968 R&D Achievement Awards Won By 18 Individuals, 5 Teams”. Department of the United States Army. June 1968. 9 (6): 3.
- (Army, 1969) Army Research and Development. “MERDL Reports Equipment Drops Combat Mortality.” Department of the United States Army. November 1969. pg. 7.
- (Army, 1977) Army Research and Development. Immunization work in the Vietnam conflict/Use of U.S. Army-developed jet injector in Vietnam. March-April 1977. Front & Back Cover.
- (Army, 2002) Department of the Army. Army Medical Department Profiles: Brig. Gen. Frank Allen Ramsey. June 2002. pg. 52.
- (Benenson, 1959) Benenson AS. Mass immunization by jet injection. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium of Immunology, Opatija, Yugoslavia, 28 September – 1 October 1959 (International Committee for Microbiological Standardization, Secton of the International Association of Microbiological Societies). Zagreb: Tiskara Izdavackog zavoda Jugoslavenske akademije, 1959, pp. 393-399 [Library of Congress Classification: QW 504 I60p 1959].
- (Ismach, 1962) Ismach A. Multi-dose jet injection device. Issued 9 Oct. 1962. Patent Number US 3057349A.
- (Ismach, 1964) Ismach A. Intradermal nozzle for jet injection devices. Issued 14 July 1964. Patent Number US 3140713.
- (Trademarkia) Trademarkia. Ped-O-Jet – company profile. Accesssed at http://www.trademarkia.com/pedojet-72313388.html.