Injuries from Sharp Objects to Health Workers: A Literature Review

Introduction: Injuries from needles and sharp objects are the most common injuries among health professionals. Annually more than 385.00 employees in the health and care sector have an experience with injury by a needle or sharp object with a direct consequence of their exposure to human blood and body fluids. Purpose: The purpose of this literature review is to study the accident by needle or sharp objects to healthcare professionals. Material and Method: In this study, a systematic and deliberate review was conducted focusing on the research question of retrieving, evaluating and consolidating the required information. Revised articles and research papers published in foreign and Greek scientific journals in the last two decades have been searched for, with four index words: professional exposure, needle injury, sharp injuries, health care workers, the electronic databases “Pubmed” and “Cinahl“, which referred to sharp injuries to healthcare professionals. Under the exclusion criteria, we have finally selected 17 articles from the 642 recovered articles. Results: The majority of injuries recorded during venipuncture, the repositioning of the needle cap after use of the needle, when disposing of the needle in special yellow boxes and rubbish, while the most common site of injury is hands. The greatest injury frequency was observed in the patient compartment, in the Emergency Department (ED), in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), in the Operation Room (OR) and the lowest percentage recorded in the laboratory. The heavy workload, the on-shift clock due to lack of staff and professional burnout are situations that increase the risk of needle or sharp needle injury. Conclusions: The prevention of accidents must be a priority for all hospitals. The events must be recorded in special publications and to inform the corresponding service. The heavy workload, the cyclic schedule with consecutive shifts because of understaffing and burnout are conditions that increase the risk of injury from a needle or sharp objects.

Category: Volume 56, N 2
Hits: 7742 Hits
Created Date: 15-06-2017
Authors: Anna Patsopoulou , Xristos Agnantis