Needlestick injuries in nursing and laboratory personnel

James, Bonita Maria (1990) Needlestick injuries in nursing and laboratory personnel. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This study was designed to increase understanding of needlestick injuries in order to make recommendations for appropriate preventive measures. -- Needlestick injury rates for the period 1985-1989 were calculated for nursing and laboratory employees at three tertiary care hospitals, using staff health records and an anonymous self-administered questionnaire. -- In 1989, hospital-recorded needlestick rates ranged from 12 to 24 per 100 FTE (full-time equivalents) for nurses and 4 to 23 per 100 for laboratory employees in the study hospitals. No decline in rates of reported needlesticks for all hospital employees or for nurses was seen; a decline in needlestick frequency was seen in two of the three laboratories. -- A random sample of nurses who ordinarily use needles in their work and all laboratory employees who regularly collect blood were invited to participate in a survey describing needle use patterns and needle injury experiences. Responses were received from 86% of nurses and 83% of laboratory employees contacted, for a total of 342 survey participants. -- Rates of self-reported needlesticks for the previous twelve months were 74 per 100 nurses and 24 per 100 laboratory employees. Forty-one percent of nurses and 20% of laboratory employees had one or more injuries in the last year. The risk of needlestick injury was not associated with an employee's sex, education level, job status, knowledge and beliefs about needlesticks, or personal health practices. Factors associated with having been injured included: -- 1) need to carry used needles to a disposal container, -- 2) recapping used needles using two hands, -- 3) inconsistent discarding of uncapped needles, -- 4) work area, -- 5) working experience, -- and 6) number of needles used. -- Most needlestick injuries occurred after the needle had been used; 42% involved recapping the used needle. Most of the recent needlesticks experienced by nurses involved disposable syringes or automatic spring-loaded lancets. Almost all needlesticks described by laboratory employees involved vacuum-tube blood collection equipment. -- Programs to reduce needlestick injuries should include: -- 1) point-of-use placement of disposal containers; -- 2) attention to equipment and situations requiring special handling, e.g., devices needing disassembly; -- 3) education strategies targeted at groups at higher risk, such as newly employed nurses; -- 4) evaluation of the efficacy of needlestick prevention programs.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5657
Item ID: 5657
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 148-155.
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: 1990
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Hypodermic needles; Hypodermic syringes; Hospitals--Employees--Accidents
Medical Subject Heading: Needlestick Injuries; Accidents, Occupational

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