Intravenous literature: Grimmond, T., Bylund, S., Anglea, C., Beeke, L., Callahan, A., Christiansen, E., Flewelling, K., McIntosh, K., Richter, K. and Vitale, M. (2010) Sharps injury reduction using a sharps container with enhanced engineering: A 28 hospital nonrandomized intervention and cohort study. American Journal of Infection Control. 38(10), p.799-805.
Background – The decrease in reported sharps injuries (SI) in the United States has markedly slowed. Additional devices and strategies need investigation. Sharps containers are associated with SI, and more than 90% of these injuries are related to container design. This study addresses the hypothesis that containers with enhanced engineering can reduce SI.
Methods – In a before/after intervention study from 2006 to 2008, we examined the impact of conversion to a sharps container with enhanced engineering (the Device) on SI categories in 14 Ascension Health hospitals (study group). The Deviceâ€™s safety features included large horizontal aperture, sensitive counterbalanced door, large atrium, and passive overfill prevention. Study group results were also compared with a control cohort of 14 contemporaneous size-matched, Ascension Health hospitals (control group).
Results – The Device was associated with significant reductions in after-procedure (âˆ’30%), disposal-related (âˆ’57%), and container-associated (âˆ’81%) SI in the study group. No significant reductions occurred in container-associated sharps injuries in the control group. Hospitals using the Device had significantly fewer total SI than control hospitals.
Conclusion – Enhanced aperture design can significantly reduce container-associated sharps injuries. Other factors contributing to reduced injuries may include 1-hand deposit, safe closure, hand restriction, and preassembly. These results, from a country where sharps safety devices are widespread, are particularly applicable to countries where safety devices are not extensively used.