Author(s): Jahan S
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Accidental needlestick injuries sustained by health care workers are a common occupational hazard in health care settings. The aim of this study was to review the epidemiology of needlestick injuries in Buraidah Central Hospital, a 212-bed secondary care hospital in Buraidah, Saudi Arabia. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective survey of all self-reported documents related to needlestick injuries, for the period January 2002 through December 2003. The data was analyzed to determine the age, sex and job category of the health care worker suffering the injury as well as the risk factors responsible for needlestick injuries. RESULTS: During the 2-year period, employees reported 73 injuries from needles and other sharp objects. Nurses were involved in 66\% of instances, physicians in 19\%, technicians in 10\%, and nonclinical support staff in 5.5\%. The majority (53.4\%) of the injuries occurred after use and before disposal of the objects. Syringe needles were responsible for 63\% of all injuries. Most injuries occurred during recapping of used needles (29\%), during surgery (19\%), and by collision with sharps (14\%). Disposal-related (11\%) causes as well as injuries by concealed sharps (5\%) occurred while handling linens or trash containing improperly disposed needles. CONCLUSION: This data emphasizes the importance of increased awareness, training and education of health care workers for reporting and prevention of needlestick injuries.
This article was published in Ann Saudi Med
and referenced in Epidemiology: Open Access