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"Injuries caused by sharp objects persist as a significant danger for hospital employees, posing immediate harm and long-term health risks linked to bloodborne pathogens. The findings stress the continuous responsibility of healthcare institutions to prioritize staff safety by addressing the root causes of sharp object injuries and fostering reporting and prevention cultures" Ibrahim et al (2024).
Impact of sharps injuries on healthcare workers

Abstract:

Introduction: Sharp object injuries in the medical field present a considerable occupational hazard for healthcare workers (HCWs), encompassing a spectrum of consequences from immediate discomfort to enduring health consequences. These injuries may expose HCWs to potential infections. Despite efforts to control sharp object injuries in healthcare environments, they are present at every stage involving using or disposing of medical sharp instruments. In Jordan, limited research has focused on sharp object injuries, with most data included from studies concentrating on practicing nurses or nursing students. Consequently, further research is necessary to comprehend the causes behind the high sharp object injury rate and the insufficient knowledge of safety practices and preventive guidelines.

Objectives This study was conducted to investigate the impact of sharp object injuries on HCWs, underlying causes, and potential consequences causes of needlestick injuries. To highlight perspective and preventive imperatives.

Methods and patients This retrospective institutional-based cross-sectional chart analysis was conducted by reviewing all sharp object injuries report sheets and extracting data directly from these reports for analysis. The study encompassed all reported cases occurring between 2018 and 2023. All the participants’ data handling was accomplished according to the Declaration of Helsinki (2013) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) Acts.

Results A total of 146 self-reported hospital workers were included in the study. Within the final cohort, 52.73% of the participants were male (77/146), with an average age at diagnosis of 38.6±7.87 years (ranging from 20 to 52 years). Conversely, females comprised 47.27% of the cohort population (69/146) and had an average age at diagnosis of 34.73±6.73 years (ranging from 19 to 47 years). The age group 20-29 years was the most prominent age group, statistical analysis of age and gender data revealed significant differences. The overall prevalence of sharp object injuries was 11.83%, indicating that a sizable portion of HCWs is at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Among the different professional categories, Physicians constituted the majority of sharp object injuries reported victims in 41 cases (28.08%), followed by nurses in 38 cases (26.02%). Statistical analysis of the profession’s data revealed significant differences (P<0.001). Notably, sharp object injuries were most reported in wards. The leading procedures that caused sharp object injuries were identified as during needle recapping in 53 instances (36.30%), then followed by medical waste treatment in 32 cases (21.92%). The left hand was the most affected body part, reported in 83 cases (56.84%). All injured individuals reported the incident promptly. No seroconversions were documented within the reviewed cases during the study period.

Conclusion Injuries caused by sharp objects persist as a significant danger for hospital employees, posing immediate harm and long-term health risks linked to bloodborne pathogens. The findings stress the continuous responsibility of healthcare institutions to prioritize staff safety by addressing the root causes of sharp object injuries and fostering reporting and prevention cultures. Underreporting reasons are diverse, encompassing factors like time constraints, fear of consequences, and the misconception of injury insignificance.

Reference:

Ibrahim EN, Kannan S, Al Habahbeh L, Makhamreh OH, Khreisat E, Kakich M, Khoury I, Abu Kaff M, Odah A, Hjazeen A, Jabali SA, Alqroom R. How Sharp Objects Injuries Impact our Healthcare Workers: Unveiling Perspective and Preventive Imperatives. Cureus. 2024 Mar 20;16(3):e56524. doi: 10.7759/cureus.56524. PMID: 38646268; PMCID: PMC11027022.