VOL: 99, ISSUE: 37, PAGE NO: 46
Nurses face the risk of exposure to blood-borne infections if they suffer a needlestick or other injury from sharp devices such as lancets, scalpels and razors. In order to minimise their risk of contracting viruses such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, or other infections, risk assessment exercises must be undertaken so that safer systems of work can be implemented to protect nurses and other health care professionals.
Information on the number and type of sharps injuries is essential so that informed decisions can be taken to reduce the risk.
More effort is needed to reduce the risk to nurses. Some of the solutions lie in raising awareness of the risks and in enforcing good practice in, for example, the safe disposal of used needles.
The Safer Needles Network was formed by a group of key stakeholders, including professional organisations, trade unions, clinicians and manufacturers.