Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education
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Background: We conducted this study to look at needlestick injuries and body fluid exposures at our tertiary care hospital, as
there is no recent data in this regard from Saudi Arabia.
Methods: Our hospital is a 320 bed tertiary care facility with over 2500 employees. The information was collected from 2005-
2011 from self reported incidents. The data was reported as descriptive statistics and outcomes were compared using Pearson
chi-square test. We also compared our results with data from Exposure Prevention Information Network (EPIN) 2007 report.
Results: There were a total of 253 reported exposures. Majority were female (64%) with average age of 34.7�8.2 years. 94% were
needlestick injuries and 6% were body fluid exposures. General wards(32%), clinics(11%) and Intensive Care Units(11%) had the
most incidents. The top three professions exposed were Nurses(49%), Doctors(22%) and Housekeeping(11%). Source serology
was negative in 86% of cases, and unknown or positive in the rest. Only 58% of the employees completed required follow up;
more so if the source was positive or unknown (p=0.001).There were 42 cases of repeat injury, and being doctor was the only
significant risk factor (p=0.04). None of the exposed employees seroconverted. In contrast to EPIN 2007 findings, our nurses and
housekeeping staff were at higher risk, and more injuries occurred in wards.
Conclusion: Needlestick and body fluid exposure is still a major problem in Saudi Arabia. The differences in risk factors as
compared to EPIN 2007 report warrant re-evaluation of the current practices. Future studies should focus on improvement
Dr Tabindeh Khalid is an Associate Consultant at King Faisal Specialist Hospital, Saudi Arabia. She completed her Family Medicine residency at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, USA in 2008. She worked as a Staff physician in Michigan before joining her current position. She is interested in clinical research and has published six papers so far. Her current research is focused on workplace safety and employee health.
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