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Gopar-Nieto, R., Juárez-Pérez, C.A., Cabello-López, A., Haro-García, L.C. and Aguilar-Madrid, G. (2015) Overview of sharps injuries among health-care workers. Revista Médica del Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social. 53(3), p.356-61. .


Sharps injuries are one of the most frequent health-care related accidents. It is estimated globally that 35 million workers are at risk; in Mexico there is no data available for this type of injuries. They are associated with lack of training, instrument and procedure risk, fatigue and stress. The occupational distribution is nurses 45 %, technicians 20 %, doctors 20 % and maintenance workers 5 %. The most commonly associated procedures are injection, venipuncture, suture, and insertion and manipulation of IV catheters. Hepatitis B is the most commonly transmitted agent. Emotional distress is huge as well as the cost of prophylaxis and follow-up. More than half of the injuries are not notified. The most common reasons for not reporting are: the belief that the exposure has low risk of infection, the lack of knowledge of reporting systems and the assumption that it is difficult to notify. Many strategies have been created to reduce the incidence of sharps injuries, such as: identifying the risk of blood exposure, the creation of politics to minimize the risk, the education and training to create a safe workplace, the enhancing of the reporting system, the use of double-gloving and using safety-engineered sharps devices. In many countries these politics have reduced the incidence of sharps injuries as well as the economic burden.

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