Author(s): LINDA ROSENSTOCK
We know that needlestick injuries are contributing to the overall burden of health care worker injuries. Although we do not know exactly how many work-related needlesticks occur each year across the country, estimates indicate that 600,000 to 800,000 such injuries occur annually, about half of which go unreported. A recent CDC study estimates that an average of 385,000 needlestick injuries occur annually in U.S. hospital settings. At an average hospital, workers incur approximately 30 reported needlestick injuries per 100 beds per year. Most reported needlestick injuries involve nursing staff; but laboratory staff, physicians, housekeepers, and other health care workers are also injured. Health care workers outside the hospital setting are also at risk. Others at clinics, private medical and dental offices, nursing homes, correctional facilities, and in the community, such as emergency medical response workers, are also at risk of exposure to contaminated blood.