Needlestick injuries reported to HSE

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Intravenous news: Using Freedom of Information laws the Mirror.co.uk approached more than 150 NHS Trusts across England and found that in the first nine months of 2008 there were 85 incidents reported to the Health and Safety Executive as either the escape of dangerous substances or an accident involving a biological agent.

For example, at Manchester Royal Infirmary a staff member was pricked by a needle removed from an HIV-positive patient who had died. Of the 85 incidents, 40 involved staff pricked by needles with the potential to infect with a serious disease. Karen Jennings, of union Unison, said: “It is shameful to see just how many of these injuries are preventable.” Kim Sunley, for the Royal College of Nursing, said: “These instances are just the tip of the iceberg. We want to see legislation on needlestick injuries which makes it mandatory to provide safer needle devices that reduce the risk of injury.”

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