- Author: Kenneth Strauss is endocrinologist and director of safety in medicine, European Medical Association, and global medical director, Becton Dickinson (BD)
THIS ARTICLE WILL TELL YOU ABOUT
- Where and when needlestick injuries most commonly occur.
- The risks associated with injecting needles.
- How to reduce needlestick injuries.
YOU WOULD BE LIKELY TO REFERENCE THIS ARTICLE IF YOU WERE RESEARCHING:
- Risk assessment
- Needlestick injuries
- Infection control
IN WHAT SITUATIONS WILL THIS ARTICLE BE USEFUL FOR ME?
This article outlines the risks of needlestick injuries which have the potential to transmit blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. It describes the risks and explores the issue that organisations tend to focus on the risk from taking blood rather than the giving of injections. It also explains how needles are a risk even when there is no blood on the tip and how long some infectious pathogens can stay active, for example hepatitis B can stay active for at least seven days.
QUESTIONS FOR YOUR MENTOR/TUTOR
How can I ensure that I am working in a safe environment which minimises the risk from needlestick injuries?
What should I do if I have a needlestick injury?
STUDENT NT DECODER
- Needlestick injuries: a penetrating stab from a needle that has the risk of exposure to blood or other body fluids.
- Sharps: this includes all needles, scalpels, or other penetrating objects that could puncture the skin of those using them.
- Cannulation: this is when a how object is inserted into a vessel and most commonly refers to when an intravenous cannula is inserted into a vein.