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Home > Sharps injuries in a teaching hospital: changes over a decade.

Kevitt, F and Hayes, B (2015) Sharps injuries in a teaching hospital: changes over a decade. Occupational Medicine , 65 , (2) , pp. 135-8.

URL: http://occmed.oxfordjournals.org/content/65/2/135....

BACKGROUND
Sharps injuries create a high volume of occupational health (OH) workload in the health care setting. The deadline for implementation of the European Sharps Directive was 11 May 2013.

AIMS
To compare the epidemiology of sharps injuries reported in a large Irish teaching hospital in 2008-10 with those reported between 1998 and 2000.

METHODS
We compared data from electronic and paper OH records of sharps injuries reported between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2010 with those from a previous study of sharps injuries reported between 1 January 1998 and 31 December 2000.

RESULTS
A total of 325 sharps injuries were reported in 2008-10, compared with 332 in 1998-2000 (P = 0.568). Hepatitis B immunity in sharps injury recipients in 2008-10 was 87% compared to 86% in 1998-2000 (P = 0.32). Glove use was reported in 80% of reported injuries in 2008-10 compared with 74% in 1998-2000 (P = 0.32). In 2008-10, 49% of injuries occurred during disposal or following improper disposal of sharps, compared with 42% in 1998-2000.

CONCLUSIONS
There was no significant change in the epidemiology of sharps injuries reported between 2008 and 2010 compared with 1998-2000. Further education in standard precautions, safe disposal of sharps, the use of safety-engineered devices and the benefits of hepatitis B immunization is needed.


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