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When are you most at risk of needle stick injury?

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1 October, 2012

When are you most at risk of needle stick injury?

An article in this week’s issue of Nursing Times suggests that strategies to prevent NSI frequently focus on blood collection and cannulation devices and fail to include needles used for injecting into tissue, for example intramuscular injections.

These devices are commonly associated with needle stick injury yet healthcare organisations are less likely to provide safety engineered devices for these procedures compared with those used for blood collection.

Readers' comments (5)

  • Needles and other "sharps" all present a risk to those to cannot be bothered to either use or dispose of "sharps" correctly. This is not rocket science !

    Putting domestic staff, portering staff and your own colleagues at risk because of idleness or a failure to follow safe practise should be regarded as a reason for dismissal.

    All rubbish, laundry bags and sharps bins should be closed with a labelled tie which identifies the ward/dept, of origin together with the date and time the bag/bin was closed.

    In the event of a "sharps" incident occurring the person in charge of the ward dept should be held to account.

    Sharps disposal bins are not intended to be crammed full - these bins should be closed when they are at the maximum 2/3rds full.

    There are of course "safety" systems available from manufacturers which reduce the risks of NSI. These systems are significantly more expensive than traditional systems.

    To argue that such "safety" systems should be available is dodging the issue.

    Safe and good practise, in all aspects of professional activity, should be the aim of all health care practitioners

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  • when are we at risk -

    when sharps bins are too full

    when pts have syringes in their pockets without telling you and you take their blood pressure and you get stabbed by a needle sticking out of their top pocket

    when patients flinch, pull away, attack you when you are taking bloods/giving injections

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  • if you take a syringe, in a tray, with a sharps bin then you cut down your risk of getting a sharps injury - just like we used to do in the good old days.

    don't re-sheath a needle, don't dispose of others sharps, have two nurses available when giving IM/sub-cut injections (one to reassure the patient).

    All common sense really.

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  • It's not all common sense really! It depends where you work, and hospital policy at the time, which can be subject to frequent change as ours was.

    we had to re sheath needles at one time and it was not possible to have somebody available when giving injections, or much other care, except in very rare circumstances.

    Before special sharps safes were introduced we had large-yoghurt type cartons and I once got stabbed in the thumb when a needle spun round while I was putting the lid on. it was not over full but we had to fill them to the brim to avoid waste. On this occasion some of the needles on heparin syringes were not recapped as the sheath was quite fine and a danger in itself and especially at 6 am after a long night when one's attention and coordination aren't as'sharp' (excuse the pun) as they may normally be.

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  • anon 12.17 - what about now? do you still re-sheath needles and do you have proper sharps bins.

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