Author(s): Ebrahimi H, Khosravi A
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Needlestick injuries (NSIs) are among the most important occupational injuries for health care workers (HCWs). In Iran, the problem of exposure to contaminated blood among nursing personnels has not well documented. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of needlestick injuries in population of nurses in Shahroud Imam Hossein Hospital, northern Iran. METHODS: A self-administrated questionnaire was completed by 180 nurses in September and October 2005 for their NSIs experience in the past year. In this study, needlestick injury was defined as percutaneous injury caused by hollow-borne needles, suturing needles, scalpel blades and lancets. RESULTS: The case incidence of NSIs was 63.3\% (114/180). The total number of episodes of NSIs among respondents was 220 (range: 1-5 episodes) with incidence rate of episodes i.e. 1.2 per person/year. 12.8\% of nurses had not been vaccinated against hepatitis B virus (HBV). The causal devices in 105 cases (92.1\%) were hollow-borne needles and the main causes of percutaneous injuries with hollow-bore needles were recapping (32.4\%) and manipulating needles in patients (18.1\%). The majority (51.8\%) of injuries occurred after use and before disposal of the objects. CONCLUSION: Nurses working in Imam Hossein Hospital are frequently exposed to blood-borne infection. NSIs were highly prevalent in these nurses therefore more intensive education programs should be directed at nurses to increase their awareness of and compliance with universal precautions (UP). We recommend a surveillance system and a center for managing injured persons.
This article was published in J Res Health Sci
and referenced in Epidemiology: Open Access