NOIRS 2000--Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA, October 17-19. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2000 Oct; :51
Background: Senate Bill 2005 (Thompson) mandated that the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) collect information on sharps-related injuries from healthcare facilities, on a voluntary basis. Under contract with the University of California, San Francisco, a Sharps Injury Registry was created. The aims of the registry are 1) to collect statewide data on sharps injuries; 2) to disseminate this information in aggregate form; and 3) to assist healthcare workers and facilities in making informed decisions to better protect care providers from sharps injuries and life-threatening illnesses. Methods: A letter inviting participation in the registry was sent to California hospitals, home health agencies, and skilled nursing facilities (n = 2,654) along with a sample sharps injury log. Data was accepted in all formats, including hand-written, electronic, and summary reports. Analysis: As of 12/31/99, reports of approximately 2,000 sharps injuries from 213 facilities have been received. Data has been collected on the following variables: type of facility, date/time of injury, sex, age, job classification, department, procedure being performed by the original user of the sharp (e.g., injection), procedure being performed by a non-original user of the sharp, when indicated (e.g., cleaning room), circumstances surrounding the injury, body part, type of device, activation of safety mechanism, when appropriate, and the employee's opinion regarding safety equipment use and work practice controls. (Note: Data is currently being reviewed by the CDHS and will be released in the near future.) Conclusions: Despite the voluntary nature of this project, these findings represent an attempt to collect sharps injury data on a statewide basis. Accepting non-standardized data makes interpretation of the results more complex. However, they may enable employers to make informed choices on work practices they foster and the devices they use to minimize the risk of sharp-related injuries to health care workers.
NOIRS 2000 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA., October 17-19, 2000