Incidence and analysis of sharps injuries and splash exposures

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We aimed to report the ten-year incidence and trend of sharps injuries and splash exposures (SISE), and analyse the causative instruments and risk factors leading to these injuries to identify potential areas of improvement” Leong et al 92019).

Abstract:

INTRODUCTION: We aimed to report the ten-year incidence and trend of sharps injuries and splash exposures (SISE), and analyse the causative instruments and risk factors leading to these injuries to identify potential areas of improvement.

METHODS: A retrospective review of self-reported SISE incidents from 2005 to 2014 was conducted in Singapore General Hospital. Data was extracted from the electronic database of the Department of Infection Prevention and Control. Incidence of SISE was calculated per 1,000 healthcare workers (HCWs) per year.

RESULTS: Over the ten-year period, a total of 1,901 SISE were reported. The average SISE incidence per year was 110.5 per 1,000 medical staff and 22.8 per 1,000 nursing staff, with an overall incidence of 28.9 per 1,000 HCWs. The incidence of SISE decreased from 30.3 to 22.0 per 1,000 HCWs per year from 2005 to 2014, while that for splash exposures increased from 1.9 to 3.7 per 1,000 HCWs per year. Doctors reported the highest number of SISE (43.7%), followed by nurses (37.7%). Top mechanisms of injury were intraoperative procedures (22.8%), drawing blood (14.4%) and splash exposures (13.7%).

CONCLUSION: Overall incidence of SISE decreased over the decade. Improved training and increasing use of safety devices, education and awareness could have contributed to the fall in incidence of sharps injuries; these measures should be reinforced and continued. However, the incidence of splash exposures increased over the same period. Preventive measures such as the use of protective goggles and face shields, together with personal protective equipment, should be emphasised and encouraged.

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Full Text Reference:

Leong, X.Y.A., Yee, F.Z.Y., Leong, Y.Y., Tan, S.G., Amin, I.B.M., Ling, M.L. and Tay, S.M. (2019) Incidence and analysis of sharps injuries and splash exposures in a tertiary hospital in Southeast Asia: a ten-year review. Singapore Medical Journal. July 22nd. doi: 10.11622/smedj.2019082. .

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