Incidence and reporting of sharps exposure among medical students


#IVTEAM #Intravenous literature: Bernard, J.A., Dattilo, J.R. and Laporte, D.M. (2013) The incidence and reporting of sharps exposure among medical students, orthopedic residents, and faculty at one institution. Journal of Surgical Education. 70(5), p.660-8.


OBJECTIVE: To compare the incidence of sharps injuries among medical students, orthopedic residents/fellows, and orthopedic faculty at one institution and to determine the rate of reporting exposures.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. Surveys were completed by 44% (53/120) of medical students, 76% (23/30) of residents/fellows, and 56% (17/30) of full-time faculty.

SETTING: Academic medical center.

PARTICIPANTS: Medical students, orthopedic surgery residents/fellows, full-time academic orthopedic surgery faculty.

RESULTS: Twenty-eight percent of medical students, 83% of residents/fellows, and 100% of faculty had been exposed to a sharps injury at some point in their career; 42% of residents/fellows had experienced a sharps exposure within the past year. The most common single instrument responsible for sharps injuries among all groups was the solid-bore needle; students and residents were significantly more likely than faculty to have a sharps injury from a solid-bore needle than all other devices combined (p = 0.04). Medical students were more likely to ignore the exposure than residents/fellows (p = 0.004) or faculty (p = 0.036). Only 12.5% of medical students followed all the steps of the postexposure protocol.

CONCLUSION: Sharps exposures occur among orthopedic surgeons and their trainees. Interventions are needed to increase safety among residents and medical students. Further research should evaluate factors suppressing medical student reporting of sharps exposures.

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