Needlestick and sharps injuries among nurses in a tropical Australian hospital

Smith, Derek R., Smyth, Wendy, Leggat, Peter A., and Wang, Rui-Sheng (2006) Needlestick and sharps injuries among nurses in a tropical Australian hospital. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 12 (2). pp. 71-77.

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Although needlestick and sharps injuries (NSI) represent a major hazard in nursing practice, most studies rely on officially reported data and none have yet been undertaken in tropical environments. Therefore, we conducted a cross-sectional NSI survey targeting all nurses within a tropical Australian hospital, regardless of whether they had experienced an NSI or not. Our overall response rate was 76.7%. A total of 39 nurses reported 43 NSI events in the previous 12 months. The most common causative device was a normal syringe needle, followed by insulin syringe needles, i.v. needles or kits and blood collection needles. Half of the nurses' NSI events occurred beside the patient's bed: drawing up medication was the most common reason. Nurses working in the maternity/neonatal wards were only 0.3 times as likely to have experienced an NSI as their counterparts in the medical or surgical wards. Overall, our study has shown that NSI events represent an important workplace issue for tropical Australian nurses. Their actual rate might also be higher than official reports suggest.

Item ID: 3743
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-172X
Keywords: occupational health; nurses; hospital; needlestick; injury; percutaneous
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2009 00:23
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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