February 22, 2017

Study: Needlestick injury prevalence, attitude changes, prevention practices

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

Needlestick injury and occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens are significant hazards for surgeons and nurses, attitudes about risks are changing, and the true seroconversion risk is underestimated, this study finds.

A total of 358 medical students and 247 surgery staff were surveyed, and results were compared with 2003 data to assess changes.


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Needlestick injuries were reported by 38.7% of respondents. Of those sustaining injuries, 33% had at least one unreported injury.

Needlestick injury prevalence and double-glove use in medical students did not differ from 2003, and 25% of fellows said they always double glove.

Concern for contracting a bloodborne pathogen significantly decreased by 65% from 2003, and level of concern was predictive of needlestick injury.

Annals of Surgery

Abstract Objective: Needlestick injury prevalence, protection practices, and attitudes were assessed. Current medical students were compared with 2003 data to assess any changes that occurred with engineered safety feature implementation. Background: Risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens is elevated in the operating room particularly with surgeons in training and nurses.

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