Sharps injury rates following implementation of the EU sharps directive

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“…compare the epidemiology of sharps injuries reported in a large Irish teaching hospital in 2008-10 with those reported between 1998 and 2000” Kevitt and Hayes (2014).

Reference:

Kevitt, F. and Hayes, B. (2014) Sharps injuries in a teaching hospital: changes over a decade. Occupational Medicine. December 29th. [epub ahead of print].

Abstract:

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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