Data Highlights: All hospitals licensed by MDPH (approximately 99) have submitted data each year as required. A total of 25,500 SIs were reported to MPDH between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2009 (an average of 3,187 injuries per year). The statewide rates of SIs among hospital workers are shown in Table 1. The rate declined significantly by 17.2% from 2002 to 2009 (data not shown). Overall descriptive findings for the first eight surveillance periods are presented in Table 2. For detailed findings for each year, see the Annual Reports posted on the MDPH website (www.mass.gov/dph/ohsp)
. Sharps injuries in acute care hospitals account for 97% of all sharps injuries reported to the Massachusetts Sharps Injury Surveillance System. Analysis of SI among employees of acute care hospitals showed that sharps injuries per 1,000 FTEs declined significantly by 31.9% from 2002 to 2009. Persistent Issues: About 3,000 SIs were reported annually in Massachusetts hospitals between 2002 and 2009, underscoring the need for continued efforts to reduce the incidence of these injuries. Findings highlight a number of persistent issues to be addressed in Massachusetts including, but not limited to: 1) The unacceptably high proportion of SIs with devices lacking sharps injury prevention features (56%), most notably with devices for which alternatives with SI prevention features have been available for nearly two decades; 2) The increasing proportion of SIs associated with devices with sharps injury prevention features (from 26% in 2002 to 38% in 2009), which raises critical questions about the need for improved training in the use of these devices or the need for improved product design, specifically the mechanism of the sharps injury prevention feature (e.g., shielding, retracting, sheathing); 3) The high proportion of SIs that occur after use of a device (35%), which emphasizes the need for improved disposal practices; and 4) The high proportion of SIs in the operating room (43%), which stresses the need to implement safe work practices and alternative methods for wound closure.