6 Factors Associated with Sharps Injuries

Feeling rushed was the top factor emergency medicine residents identified as contributing to a sharps injury, according to a study in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

From January to February 2011, 208 Illinois emergency medicine residents responded to a survey on percutaneous injuries. Overall, 55.3 percent of residents had at least one percutaneous injury; of these residents, 36.5 percent did not report the needlestick exposure. While the rate of sharps injuries increased as residents' training increased, there was no difference in the rate of reporting these injuries.

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Emergency medicine residents were more likely to report the injury if they perceived the patient was at a high risk for communicable disease, according to the study. Factors that were not associated with the reporting rate include potential negative consequences and lack of comfort with the procedure.

Among residents who had a percutaneous injury, 90.8 percent said they felt comfortable with the procedure that led to the injury. Survey respondents identified the following contributing factors to getting a needlestick injury:

•    Feeling rushed — 37.4 percent
•    Being stuck by another healthcare worker — 17.4 percent
•    Cleaning up sharps — 16.5 percent
•    Performing multiple procedures at once — 13.9 percent
•    Recapping a needle — 10.4 percent
•    Lack of experience — 7.8 percent

More Articles on Sharps Injuries:

Needlestick Injuries Cost U.S. Hospitals $1B
Top 7 Surgical Safety Challenges 

Sharps Regulations Actually Do Work, Study Says

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