How Would You Prevent Needle Stick Injury?

Needle Stick Injury Definition:

Needlestick Injury is a penetrated stab wound from a used needle that may result in exposure to blood or other body fluids. The major concernment here is exposure to the blood or other body fluids of another person who may be carrying an infectious disease. The pathogens of primary concern are the human hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Needle stick injury prevention
Fig: Needlestick injury prevention

What Diseases Can Be Transmitted Through Needle Stick Injury?

The major blood-borne pathogens or infectious microorganisms transmitted with needle stick injury are-

  1. Hepatitis B-Virus (HBV),
  2. Hepatitis C-Virus (HCV),
  3. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

However, some other infectious pathogens also can be transmitted through needle stick injury. These include:

  1. Human T-lymphotropic retroviruses (HTLV I & II),
  2. Hepatitis D virus (HDV or delta agent, which is activated in the presence of HBV) hepatitis G virus (GB virus or GBV-C),
  3. West Nile Virus (WNV),
  4. Malarial parasites,
  5. Cytomegalovirus (CMV ),
  6. Epstein Barr Virus (EBV),
  7. Parvovirus B19,
  8. Transfusion-Transmitted Virus (TTV),
  9. Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE).

Risky Task with Needle Stick Injury:

There are many types of healthcare and hospital work that can expose people to the risk of needlestick injury. These include:

  • Hospital-based work – Vaccination, phlebotomy, IV cannulation, acupuncture, and other surgical procedures.
  • Ancillary services – cleaning, portering, hospital laundry and sterile supplies,
  • Mortuary work,
  • Laboratory and diagnostic work.

How Can Needlestick Injury be Prevented?

Preventing needle stick injury has the best way to protect you from these infections. Some specific action addressed below to prevent exposures to blood-borne pathogens including prevention of needle stick injuries-

  1. Immunization against hepatitis B.
  2. Avoid recapping needles.
  3. Do not break, bend, or otherwise try to render the syringe useless.
  4. Avoid the use of needles when there are other safe alternatives.
  5. Used needles should dispose of in appropriate sharps disposal containers.
  6. Ensure an adequate number of standard-labeled, leak-proof, puncture-resistant sharps containers in the workplace.
  7. To prevent spilling, safe use of sharps containers during transport.
  8. Use of sharps protective devices for all procedures such as needles that retract, sheath, or blunt immediately after use.
  9. Take an appropriate plan for the safe handling and disposal of needles before use.
  10. Follow standard precautions, infection prevention, and general hygiene practices consistently (Use PPE).
  11. Remove gloves carefully and dispose of them as clinical waste.
  12. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  13. Encourage employees to participate in the bloodborne pathogens training program.
  14. Ensure proper training of employees on the importance of PPE and the safe use and disposal of needles.
  15. Encourage the employee to report all needlestick and other sharps-related injuries.
  16. Assist the employer to choose and evaluate devices with safety features.
  17. Promote safety awareness in the work environment.
  18. Consist of a sharps injury prevention committee (maybe part of the health and safety committee).
  19. Make a sharps policy that covers exposure prevention as well as treatment and follows up.
  20. Implement the use of engineering controls to reduce needlestick injuries.
  21. Change and Modify work practices that have an increased risk of a needle stick injury.
  22. Evaluate the effectiveness of prevention efforts and provide feedback on performance.
  23. Report all needlestick and other sharps-related injuries.

1 thought on “How Would You Prevent Needle Stick Injury?”

  1. It is very good information about some myths regarding the curing of both HIV and hepatitis C infection. It was somewhat useful for many including me.

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