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"Sharp injuries, determining the risk of bloodborne infections and psychological distress in healthcare workers, may be prevented by a set of strategies, legally enforced in Europe through the Directive 2010/32/EU" De Carli et al (2022).
Sharp injury prevention in Italy

Abstract:

Sharp injuries, determining the risk of bloodborne infections and psychological distress in healthcare workers, may be prevented by a set of strategies, legally enforced in Europe through the Directive 2010/32/EU. To assess its level of implementation in Italy, a national survey was conducted in 2017 and again in 2021, evaluating the progress and possible drawbacks of the COVID-19 pandemic. Altogether, 285 safety managers and 330 nurses from a representative sample of 97 and 117 public hospitals were interviewed using a standardized questionnaire. Knowledge of the Directive requirements decreased significantly, with <60% of participants answering correctly in 2021, and nurses' attendance in specific courses dropped to 25% in 2021 compared to 54% in 2017. Over 75% of hospitals introduced multiple safety-engineered devices (SED), though total replacement occurred in <50% of cases; routine SED availability increased for blood collection (89%) and venous access devices (83%). Incorrect behaviors in handling sharps decreased significantly over time. Nurses' HBV vaccination coverage was high (89% in both surveys); in the last year, 97% were vaccinated against COVID, and 47% against influenza. Average annual injuries per hospital did not increase significantly (32 in 2021 vs. 26 in 2017). In 2017, nurses' perceived safety barriers were working in emergency situations (49%) and lack of resources (40%); in 2021, understaffing (73%), physical fatigue (62%), and handling difficulties while wearing full protective equipment (59%). Safety measures were implemented in Italian hospitals, and although the average injuries per hospital did not show a decrease, these measures could have helped protect healthcare workers during the pandemic, mitigating its potential impact on the increase in situations at risk of injury.

Reference:

De Carli G, Agresta A, Lecce MG, Marchegiano P, Micheloni G, Sossai D, Campo G, Tomao P, Vonesch N, Leone S, Puro V, The Studio Italiano Rischio Occupazionale da Hiv Siroh Group. Prevention from Sharp Injuries in the Hospital Sector: An Italian National Observatory on the Implementation of the Council Directive 2010/32/EU before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Sep 5;19(17):11144. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191711144. PMID: 36078860.