Age and years in practice as factors associated with needlestick and sharps injuries among health care workers in a Portuguese hospital.
ABSTRACT Health care workers are attributed to the group at highest risk of occupationally acquired bloodborne diseases as the result of contact with blood and body fluids. A cross sectional study was conducted between November 2009 and February 2010 in the North of Portugal, to identify potential risk factors for needlestick and sharps injuries. A questionnaire was provided to 363 health care professionals. Logistic regression was used to identify risk factors associated to needlestick and sharps injuries, calculating odds ratio (OR) and their 95% confidence interval (CI). Sixty-five percent of health care workers (64.5%, 234/363) reported needlestick and sharps injuries in the previous 5 years. Of the injured workers, 74.8% were nurses. Of the total injuries reported, the commonest were from syringe needle unit. The multivariate logistic regression model showed that the strongest risk factor was having more than 10 years or more of work in health services (OR 3.37, 95% CI 1.82, 6.24). Another significantly related factor was being over 39 years-old (OR 1.94, 95% CI 1.03, 3.63). In Portugal, there is a lack of epidemiological evidence related to needlestick and sharps injuries. Considering that patients infected with hepatitis B and C virus are commonly encountered in the hospital environment and that the prevalence of HIV infection in Portugal is one of the highest in Europe, these results should be considered in the design of biosafety strategies at the Hospital Center.
- SourceAvailable from: Gabriella De Carli[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Healthcare workers are at risk of sharps injuries and subsequent infection from more than 40 bloodborne pathogens or species. Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) together account for the vast majority of cases. The Directive 2010/32/EU "Prevention from sharp injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector", issued to protect workers from these risks, requires an integrated approach to prevention including awareness-raising, education, training, elimination of unnecessary needles, safe procedures for sharps use and disposal, banning of recapping, vaccination, use of personal protective equipment, provision of safety-engineered devices, and appropriate surveillance, monitoring, response and follow-up. As laboratories represent a high-risk setting both in the preanalytical and analytical phase, we reviewed accidents and prevention in this setting in the light of the new legislation. Phlebotomy is the procedure carrying the highest risk of exposure and infection, involved in 30-50% of HIV and HCV cases detected in nationwide systems following accidental blood exposures implemented since the 1990s in Italy and France. In laboratories, problems in the management of sharps containers, recapping, needle disassembly by hand and blood transfer from syringes into tubes were observed and accounted for two-thirds of injuries. These accidents could be reduced through education and monitoring of behaviours, and introduction of medical devices incorporating safety-engineered protection mechanisms with appropriate training. Laboratory staff should be immunized against HBV, and know policies and procedures for the post-exposure management and prophylaxis. The management commitment to safety is crucial to ensure the necessary support to these changes.Biochemia Medica 02/2014; 24(1):45-56. · 1.87 Impact Factor