Needlestick prevention roadmap published to address safety concerns

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Intravenous news: Infection Control Today report “In the 10 years since the passage of the federal Needlestick Safety and Protection Act, much progress has been made to reduce the risk of healthcare worker exposure to bloodborne pathogens—yet significant challenges remain. The International Healthcare Worker Safety Center at the University of Virginia and the American Nurses Association, along with colleagues across the spectrum of healthcare, have agreed on a Consensus Statement and Call to Action to address these issues.

“We view this as a roadmap for future progress in preventing needlesticks, one of the most serious occupational risks healthcare workers face,” according to Center director and UVa professor Janine Jagger, MPH, PhD. The eight-page statement provides “a snapshot of where we are now and where further work is needed in order to continue to protect healthcare workers from this risk they face every day in the line of duty,” Jagger says.

The Call to Action focuses on five pivotal areas in need of attention:

  1. Improve sharps safety in surgical settings
  2. Understand and reduce exposure risks in non-hospital settings (which include physicians’ offices, clinics, home healthcare, and an array of other settings)
  3. Involve frontline workers in the selection of safety devices
  4. Address gaps in available safety devices, and encourage innovative designs and technology
  5. Enhance worker education and training.

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