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Impact of needlestick safety legislation on nurses injuries.

Phillips-EK; Conaway-MR; Parker-G; Jagger-JC
APHA 139th Annual Meeting and Exposition, Washington, D.C., October 29- November 2, 2011. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, 2011 Nov; :238716
The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2000 required caregiver input in reviewing and selecting safety-engineered devices. It gave nurses influence in decisions regarding device purchases, providing opportunities to influence their own occupational health and safety. This study measures legislative impact on nurse injuries. Methods: A historic prospective design used data from the Exposure Prevention Information Network (EPINet ), a sharps injury surveillance network. Data from the years 1995-2005 reflected a total of 23908 needlestick injuries from a cumulative total of 85 hospitals. Variables included job category, when and where the injury occurred. Annual injury rates were reported as injuries per 100 personnel (FTEs) according to AHA. Nurse FTEs were estimated as 30% of all hospital FTEs. Results: Overall, nurse sharps injury rates decreased ~40% from the pre-legislation period to the post-legislation (P=0.006), reflecting ~2.5 fewer injuries per 100 nurse FTEs, and proportion of all injuries attributed to nurses decreased by 10%. Among nurses, the proportion of injuries before and after device use decreased. In-room injuries reflected a larger proportion of all nurse injuries in the post-legislation period. Conclusions: The legislation appears to have had a positive effect on nurse injuries- the proportion and rate of injury have decreased significantly. In addition, the patterns of injury, both where and when nurse injuries occurred, shifted. National policy, enacted and enforced, can make a difference in the health and safety of nurses.
Health-hazards; Risk-factors; Humans; Men; Women; Hospital-equipment; Needlestick-injuries; Nurses; Nursing; Accident-potential; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-methods; Health-hazards; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Needlestick-injuries; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-medicine; Work-performance; Workplace-studies; Work-practices; Surveillance-programs; Author Keywords: Occupational injury and death; Nurses
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APHA 139th Annual Meeting and Exposition, Washington, D.C., October 29- November 2, 2011
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University of Virginia, Charlottesville