Sharps injury danger


Intravenous news: report “Nurses will remain at risk of unnecessary sharps injuries because half of trusts are unlikely to switch to safer needles, despite new European legislation. Myths around the cost of safer devices will hinder their introduction in many cases, according to documents seen by Nursing Times.

European ministers ruled last week that risk assessments should be done in all areas where sharps are used and safety devices, such as retractable needles, introduced where a risk of injury is found. A similar law was adopted in the US almost a decade ago and led to hospitals universally adopting safety syringes and needleless devices. An NHS trial of safety-only needles at University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust led to a 70 per cent reduction in needlestick injuries over four years.

Campaigners now hope the EU law which must be adopted by the UK within three years will have a similar effect across the NHS.”

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