BACKGROUND: Needlestick injuries among healthcare professionals continue to be an occupational hazard, frequently and incorrectly regarded as low-risk, and exacerbated by underreporting. We aimed to investigate rates of needlestick injury, reasons for underreporting, and how explicit announcements that patients are “high-risk” (i.e., human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis, or intravenous drug abuse history) might affect the actions of those at risk of sustaining an injury.
METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was administered to medical students (MS), nursing students (NS), and residents.
RESULTS: 30/224 (13%) of MS, 6/65 (9%) of NS, and 67/126 (53%) of residents experienced needlestick injuries. 37% of MS, 33% of NS, and 46% of residents attributed “lack of concentration” as cause of injury. Residents had the lowest percentage of underreporting (33%), with rates of 40% and 83% among MS and NS, respectively. Top reasons for non-reporting included the injury being perceived as “trivial” (22%) and patient being “low-risk” (18%). A majority stated pre-operative “high-risk” announcements should be required (91%), and would promote “culture of safety” (82%), reporting of injuries (85%), and increased concentration during procedures (70%).
CONCLUSIONS: We recommend routine announcements during pre-operative time-out and nursing/resident hand-offs that state a patient is “high-risk” if applicable. We hypothesize such policy will promote a “culture of safety,” situational awareness, and incident reporting.Reference:
Katsevman, G.A., Sedney, C.L., Braca Iii, J.A. and Hatchett, L. (2020) Interdisciplinary differences in needlestick injuries among healthcare professionals in training: Improving situational awareness to prevent high-risk injuries. Work. February 27th. doi: 10.3233/WOR-203118. (Epub ahead of print).