September 26, 2019

Needlestick events and reporting among surgical residents

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

This national survey of surgical residents found that needlesticks occur frequently, many events are not reported, and numerous reporting barriers exist.

Of 7,395 respondents from all 260 general surgery residency programs, 27.7% noted experiencing a needlestick in the last 6 months. Most events occurred in the OR (77.5%) and involved residents sticking themselves (76.2%) with solid needles (84.7%).

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Self-reported factors included residents’ own carelessness (48.8%) and feeling rushed (31.3%).

Resident-level factors included senior residents vs first-year residents (29.9% vs 22.4%), female vs male gender (31.9% vs 25.2%), or frequently working more than 80 hours per week.

More than one-fourth of residents (28.7%) did not report the needlesticks to employee health.

The findings offer guidance in identifying opportunities to reduce needlesticks and encourage reporting, the researchers say.


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