Occurrence of needlestick injuries in Northern India

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To determine the occurrence of self-reported occupational exposures to these hazards and to know the prevalent practices following the exposure” Goel et al (2017).

Abstract:

INTRODUCTION: Occupational hazards such as accidental exposure to sharp, cuts, and splashes are common among health-care workers (HCWs).

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To determine the occurrence of self-reported occupational exposures to these hazards and to know the prevalent practices following the exposure. The second aim was to know the baseline antibody levels against hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) immediately after these accidents.

METHODS: An observational prospective study was done in the HCWs of a tertiary care academic health organization of North India from January 2011 to December 2013. At the time of self-reporting of injury, a questionnaire was administered. Blood sample of HCWs and of the source, if identified, was collected for baseline HBV, HCV, and HIV serum markers. The exposed HCWs were followed up and repeat testing was done after 3-4 weeks for seroconversion up to 6 months.

RESULTS: A total of 476 injuries were reported. Needlestick injury of fingers was the most common. Doctors were found to have the highest exposure rate (73.7%) distantly followed by nurses (19.1%). A significant number of the HCWs (125, 26.3%) vaccinated in past had hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) titers

CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of needlestick and sharp injuries is most often encountered in emergency wards. Anti-HBs titers were suboptimal in many of the HCWs requiring a booster dose of HBV vaccination.

Reference:

Goel, V., Kumar, D., Lingaiah, R. and Singh, S. (2017) Occurrence of Needlestick and Injuries among Health-care Workers of a Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital in North India. Journal of Laboratory Physicians. 9(1), p.20-25.

doi: 10.4103/0974-2727.187917.

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