Risk of Needlestick Injuries

All employees in healthcare settings who handle needles or other types of sharps are at risk of having a needlestick injury.

Occupations at risk of injury are:

  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Nursing/patient care assistants
  • Phlebotomists
  • Housekeepers
  • Laundry assistants
  • Surgical technicians
  • Residents
  • Public health workers

Needlestick injuries with contaminated needles can happen at any point of use including:

  • During device use
  • After device use, but prior to disposal
  • During disposal

Healthcare workers are at risk of injuries when:

  • Passing sharps between different individuals or to different locations
  • Recapping needles
  • Bumping into each other
  • Decontaminating or processing used equipment
  • Used sharps are not disposed of properly
  • Sharps are left in unusual locations such as stuck between mattresses, left on trays, or in pockets

Needle Design Impacts The Risk of Injury

Devices with an increased risk of injury:

  • Hollow-bore needles
  • Devices that need to be taken apart or maneuvered by healthcare professional
  • Syringes retaining an exposed needle after being used
  • Needles attached to tubing

Learn and adopt injury prevention strategies to protect you from needlestick injuries.

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Unsafe Injections in the Developing World and Transmission of Bloodborne Pathegens: A Review.
Simonsen L, Kane A, Lloyd J, Zaffran M, Kane M. Bull World Health Organ. 1999;77(10):789-800. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

Read this entire source


The Global Burden of Disease Attributable to Contaminated Injections Given in Health Care Settings
Anja M Hauri, Gregory L Armstrong and Yvan J F Hutin

Read this entire source