The purpose of this study was to examine the incidence, attitudes, and factors that affect the reporting of sharps injuries among orthopedic surgery residents at a large academic teaching hospital in an effort to increase reporting rates and design effective interventions” Manoli et al (2018).
Sharps-related injuries represent a significant occupational hazard to orthopedic surgeons. Despite increased attention and targeted interventions, evidence suggests that the majority of incidents continue to go unreported. The purpose of this study was to examine the incidence, attitudes, and factors that affect the reporting of sharps injuries among orthopedic surgery residents at a large academic teaching hospital in an effort to increase reporting rates and design effective interventions. This study administered an anonymous cross-sectional survey regarding intraoperative sharps exposures to current orthopedic house staff, with an 87% (54/62) response rate. Overall, 76% of surveyed residents (41/54) had at least one sharps exposure during residency. The majority of these incidents (55%) were never reported. The most common reason cited for not reporting was a “perception of low risk.” Residents whose exposures were witnessed by others on the surgical team were more likely to report the incident (57% vs. 23%, p = 0.043), suggesting that peer pressure acts to improve reporting rates. While the implementation of a “needlestick hotline” and increased education has led to improved reporting rates at our institution, further improvements aimed at reducing unwitnessed incidents, and therefore unreported incidents, could comprise an increased emphasis on surgical team vigilance, positive peer pressure, the incorporation of sharps-specific surgical debriefing statements and anonymous tip lines.
Manoli, A., Hutzler, L., Regan, D., Strauss, E.J. and Egol, K.A. (2018) Unreported Sharps Exposures in Orthopedic Surgery Residents A Silent Majority. Bulletin of the Hospital for Joint Disease. 76(2), p.133-138.