Impact of occupational splash, sharps and needlestick injuries

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Infection as a consequence of splash sharps and needlestick injuries (SSNIs) is a hazard faced by healthcare workers” Ongete and Duffy (2018).

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Infection as a consequence of splash sharps and needlestick injuries (SSNIs) is a hazard faced by healthcare workers. Little is known about the impact this has on quality of life particularly in countries where the risk of infection is high.

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to describe the impact SSNIs have on the quality of life of healthcare workers in Kenya, where blood borne illness prevalence is high.

METHODS: A hospital-wide survey of a facility in Nairobi was conducted. Data was collected online from at risk healthcare workers using Burckhardt and Anderson’s Quality of Life Scale (QOLS) and a 10-item symptoms questionnaire.

RESULTS: Of the 416 participants, 192 (46.2%) had experienced SSNIs. Their mean QOLS scores were considerably lower than that predicted for a healthy population. The relationship between symptoms and QOLS scores showed a strong positive correlation (Pearson’s r = 0.753). Tests of association between QOLS scores and SSNI type, anti-retroviral (ARV) drug use, educational level and staff cadre revealed significant association (p < 0.05). However, on key demographic variables, the association was non-dependent, indicating that the impact was felt similarly by many staff.

CONCLUSIONS: SSNIs clearly impact on healthcare workers quality of life. Hospital management should ensure measures are taken to reduce SSNIs and provide appropriate personal protection equipment. For staff experiencing an SSNI, psychological wellbeing should be assessed and appropriate expert help provided.

Reference:

Ongete, G. and Duffy, F.J.R. (2018) The impact of occupational splash, sharps and needlestick injuries (SSNIs) on the quality of life of healthcare workers in a Kenyan university hospital. Work. 59(1), p.103-119.

doi: 10.3233/WOR-172664.

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