Needlestick injuries have increased, despite improved efforts to protect healthcare workers, says a report from the Health Protection Agency.
The number of reported incidents rose 49% in three years, from 206 in2002 to 306 in 2005. In the last eight years 11 healthcare workers have been infected with hepatitis C as a result of needle stick injury. Two of these incidents were reported in the last 12 months.
'Most needle stick injuries are preventable,' said Dr Fortune Ncube who compiled the report. 'It is crucial that interventions to prevent occupational exposure injuries, such as the use of retractable needles, are examined.'
The Agency admits the increase could be due to better awareness of the problem, and more cases being reported than before.
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