Percutaneous exposure incidents among Australian hospital staff

Smith, Derek, Leggat, Peter, and Takahashi, Ken (2005) Percutaneous exposure incidents among Australian hospital staff. International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 11 (3). pp. 323-330.

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We investigated all reported percutaneous exposure incidents (PEI)among staff from a large Australian hospital in the 3-year period, 2001-2003. There were a total of 3763 PEI, of which 38.9% were needlestick injuries, 32.7% were cutaneous exposures and 28.4% sharps-related injuries. Nurses were the most commonly affected staff members, accounting for 63.5% of the total, followed by doctors (18.8%) and other staff (17.7%). Needlestick injuries were responsible for the majority of nurses' PEI (44.7%). Sharps injuries constituted the major category for doctors (44.3%). Most needlestick injuroes (67.6%) were caused by hollow-bore needles, while the majority of cutaneous exposures involved blood or serum (55.8%). Most sharps injuries were caused by unknown devices (35.9%) or suture needles (34.9%). Overall, our investigation suggests that PEI is a considerable burden for health care workers in Australia. Further research is now required to determine the relationships, if any, between workers who suffer PEI and those who do not.

Item ID: 4518
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1080-3548
Keywords: epidemiology; hospital; occupational health; percutaneous exposure incidents; staff
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Reproduced with permission from the International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics

Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2009 03:46
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920504 Occupational Health @ 51%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920404 Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response) @ 49%
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