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Sharps injuries among hospital workers in Massachusetts, 2008: findings from the Massachusetts Sharps Injury Surveillance System.

Authors
Laramie-AK; Davis-LK; Pun-VC; Laing-J; DeMaria-A Jr.
Source
Boston, MA: Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 2010 Mar; :1-26
NIOSHTIC No.
20036627
Abstract
More than 3,100 sharps injuries were reported in Massachusetts hospitals in 2008, underscoring the need for continued efforts to reduce the incidence of these injuries. Findings highlight a number of continuing issues to be addressed in Massachusetts: 1. The unacceptably high number of injuries with devices lacking sharps injury prevention features (55%, 1,712), most notably hypodermic needles/syringes (27%, 264) for which alternatives with sharps injury prevention features have been available for two decades; 2. The need for improved disposal practices to reduce the large number of sharps injuries that occur after use of a device (49%, 1,543); and 3. The need to implement safe work practices and alternative methods for wound closure to reduce the high number of injuries in the operating room (43%, 1,133). Notably, the use of devices with sharps injury prevention features appears to be increasing as reflected in the decrease in the proportion of sharps injuries involving devices without sharps injury prevention features over time. Whereas 62% of all reported sharps injuries were due to devices lacking sharps injury prevention features in 2002, the first year of data collection, 55% involved such devices in 2008. For hypodermic needles/syringes alone, the percent of sharps injuries with devices without prevention features decreased from 57% (557) in 2002 to 28% (264) in 2008. (An in depth analysis of sharps injury rates over time is in progress and will be released later in 2010.) While use of devices with sharps injury prevention features have been demonstrated to reduce risk of sharps injuries in numerous studies, (Rogues, 2004; Cavanaugh, 2007; Avarado-Ramy, 2003), the Massachusetts findings underscore that these devices do not eliminate risk. The finding that 9% of all sharps injuries and 24% of sharps injuries involving devices with sharps injury prevention features occurred while activating the sharps injury prevention feature raises critical questions about the extent to which these injuries are associated with factors such as inexperience and lack of training in the use of these devices or flaws in product design. A closer look at these devices is needed with focus on both of these factors, specifically the mechanism of the sharps injury prevention feature (e.g., retracting, sheathing, blunting). Working with purchasing departments, as well as clinical staff, to identify and evaluate devices with sharps injury prevention features is a key step to ensuring that appropriate devices are purchased and used within the hospital setting. Hospitals are encouraged to report information about problems with devices on the Annual Summary of Sharps Injuries submitted each year to MDPH. Detailed information about problems with devices should be included in the description of how the injury occurred, along with information about the manufacturer, brand name and model number of the device. As good documentation practice, it is always better to capture as much information as possible in the Annual Summary. Starting in 2010 MDPH is also asking hospitals to report information on the Annual Summary about the mechanism of sharps injury prevention features for those injuries that occur with devices with sharps injuries prevention features.
Keywords
Injuries; Injury-prevention; Accident-rates; Accident-prevention; Health-care-facilities; Health-care-personnel; Needlestick-injuries; Nurses; Surgeons
Contact
Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Health Information, Statistics, Research and Evaluation, Occupational Health Surveillance Program, 250 Washington Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02108
Publication Date
20100325
Document Type
Book or book chapter
Email Address
Sharps.Injury@state.ma.us
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
2010
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008490
Priority Area
Healthcare and Social Assistance
Source Name
Sharps injuries among hospital workers in Massachusetts, 2008: findings from the Massachusetts Sharps Injury Surveillance System.
State
MA
Performing Organization
Massachusetts State Department of Public Health
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