Needlestick and sharps injuries among Australian medical students

Smith, Derek R., and Leggat, Peter A. (2005) Needlestick and sharps injuries among Australian medical students. Journal of the University of Occupational and Environmental Health, 27 (3). pp. 237-242.

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We investigated the prevalence and distribution of Needlestick and Sharps Injuries (NSI) among a group of Australian medical undergraduates from 4 consecutive grades. Data was obtained by means of an anonymous, self-reporting survey. A total of 254 questionnaires were obtained (response rate 97.3%). Among them, 35 students (13.8%) had suffered a total of 41 NSI incidents. By gender, 71.4% of the NSI reporters were female and 28.6% were male. NSI prevalence varied significantly with respect to students' year of study (P for Trend=0.0106), ranging from 7.3% in the 1st year to 26.8% in the 3rd year. Of the 41 NSI incidents, 29.2% were caused by a glass item, 24.4% by a hollow bore needle, 24.4% by another device and 22.0% by a surgical device. The distribution by causative device also varied from year to year. Overall, this study has shown that NSI represent an important hazard for Australian medical students. As such, the importance of intervention strategies to reduce NSI exposures must remain an essential facet of medical education, worldwide. Future preventive measures will also need to consider the unique situation of medical students in Australia, as elsewhere.

Item ID: 6712
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0387-821X
Keywords: epidemiology; medical; needle stick injuries; occupational health; students
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2010 02:39
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology @ 50%
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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