Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Needlestick injuries are wounds that are produced by needles that pierce the skin by mistake. Needlestick injuries are a risk for everyone who works with hypodermic syringes or other needle-related equipment.

When individuals use, dismantle, or dispose of needles, they can sustain these injuries at any moment. When needles are not properly disposed of, they might lurk in the linen or rubbish and damage other employees who come into contact with them unexpectedly, especially when using tagging guns online.

Needles, scalpels, lancets, razor blades, scissors, metal wire, retractors, clamps, pins, staples, cutters, and glass objects are all examples of “sharps.” A “sharp” is defined as anything that can cut the flesh.

What are the risks associated with needlestick and sharps injuries?

These injuries spread infectious illnesses, particularly bloodborne viruses. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), hepatitis B, and hepatitis C are all causes for concern.

Inadvertent punctures with infected needles can introduce harmful fluids into the body through the skin. There is the possibility of dangerous medication injection, but contact with infectious fluids, particularly blood, is far and away the most serious worry. Even small quantities of infectious fluid can efficiently transmit some infections.

Sharps can cause a cut in the skin, allowing blood or fluids to come into touch.

The risk of infection after contact with contaminated blood varies depending on the bloodborne pathogen.

According to the Ontario Hospital Association/Ontario Medical Association (2016), there is a 6 to 30% probability that an exposed individual may get infected after being injured in the workplace by a needle contaminated with the hepatitis B virus. In a comparable setting, there is a 0.3 percent probability of infection with HIV and a 1.8 percent chance of infection with hepatitis C.

Also, because the hepatitis B virus may persist on ambient surfaces for more than a week, inanimate things can be infected and induce indirect exposure.

What Causes Needlestick Injuries?

Injuries can happen at any time during usage, disassembly, or disposal stage.

The following percentages for injury rates from a study with data gathered from 1995 to 2007 are listed in a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States:

Injuries Caused By Hollow-Bore Needles:

Twenty-two percent occurred during or after disposal.

Inadequate disposal.

During the disposal process.

After usage, before disposal: 19%

The safety function is activated.

Needle recapture

During the cleaning process.

52 percent while in use

Access the IV line.

Specimens are transferred/processed.

Equipment pass/transfer

Collision with a sharp object or a worker.

Needle insertion or removal


Injuries Caused By Solid Sharps:

3 percent during or after disposal

En route from disposal to disposal.

During the disposal process.

15% after usage, 15% before disposal

Sharp left in an odd setting.

During the cleaning process.

When using the item: 70% of the time

Specimen preparation.

Collision with a sharp object or a worker.

Sharp in patient manipulation

Handle, convey, or transfer a piece of equipment or a specimen.

Suture needle manipulation


Equipment design, process type, working conditions, employee experience, recapping, and disposal have all been suggested as variables influencing these occurrences.

How might Injuries From Needlesticks And Sharps Be Avoided?

The most efficient strategy to safeguard employees is to prevent injuries. A thorough sharps injury prevention program would contain the following components:

Guidelines that are recommended.

The equipment design has been improved.

Disposal methods that work.

Employee education.

When required, use safe recapping methods.

Programs of surveillance

The Center for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control evaluates, publishes, and updates recommendations to safeguard healthcare workers from exposure to all infection-causing agents. The most recent recommendation is “Routine Practices and Additional Precautions for Preventing Infection Transmission in Healthcare Settings.”

Preventing injuries from sharps and needlesticks is considered part of healthcare professionals’ “routine procedures.”

Sharps Workers Require Education And Training As Part Of Their Job.

Sharps workers need education and training as part of a sharps injury prevention program. Workers should be trained on how to protect themselves while using the device and those who may come into contact with it during or after procedures.

Utilizing safety-engineered equipment such as shielded needle devices or needle-free systems with self-sealing ports and syringes is suggested. Certain jurisdictions require the use of such safety measures. Using these devices must consider the health care workers and the patient’s safety.


Recapping needles is not recommended. Items that have been used should be promptly deposited in a designated puncture-resistant container conveniently accessible at the point of care.

Healthcare personnel should always cover exposed skin regions or lesions on their hands and arms with a dry dressing. Because hand cleanliness is still important, a consultation is required if the dressing interferes with this practice.

If blood or bodily fluids splashes are expected, protect the eyes, nose, and mouth.

If someone has been exposed to blood or bodily fluids, provide immediate first assistance. First aid should involve thoroughly washing the wounded location with running water and, if feasible, gently cleansing with soap and water.

If you have been exposed, flush your eyes, nose, and mouth with running water.

By admin

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