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Preventing needlesticks in emergency medical system workers.
J Occup Environ Med 2001 Jun; 43(6):554-557
Emergency medical system (EMS) workers frequently use sharp devices in injury-prone circumstances that involve limited visibility, confined spaces, rapidly moving vehicles, and uncooperative victims. This study examined the efficacy of an automatic self-retracting lancet in reducing needlestick injuries and related direct and indirect costs. Subjects were 477 active-duty EMS workers. Counseling, laboratory testing (hepatitis B and C, hepatic function enzymes, and human immunodeficiency virus), antiviral prophylaxis, and immunizations were provided according to US Public Health Service guidelines. Baseline and biennial laboratory testing for hepatitis B and C and liver function enzymes were conducted. After the introduction of a spring-loaded automatic-retracting type glucometer lancet device, needlestick injuries decreased from 16 per 954 EMS worker-years to 2 per 477 EMS worker-years. The annualized cost of treatment declined from $8276 to $2068. The change to a self-retracting device decreased the number of needlestick injuries and was cost-effective with a minimal increase in device cost (annualized $366 per year).
Needlestick-injuries; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Emergency-responders; Emergency-response; Medical-personnel; Medical-rescue-services; Medical-care; Emergency-care; Laboratory-testing; Liver-function; Occupational-accidents; Accidents; Accident-prevention
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division