Royal College of Nursing Needlestick injuries report
The Royal College of Nursing published a needlestick report which states that in the UK a small but significant number of health care workers have developed potentially life threatening diseases. The report published in Jan 2009 states that in the late 1990’s 11 health staff have contracted hepatitis c from needle jabs and 5 HIV transmissions had also been confirmed.
While the majority of needlestick injuries are not life threatening, the possiblity of developing infectious diseases can cause immense distress, anxiety and anguish for nurses and other health care workers.
An RCN survey of 4,407 Nurses carried out in November 2008 found that
- Almost half of all nurses had been stuck by a needle or sharp that had been previously used on a patient.
- Over half of the nurses surveyed feared needlestick injuries
- 95% of nurses consider that the availability of safer needle devices is essential or preferable .
The case for prevention
The European Agency of Occupational Safety and Health estimates that one million needlestick injuries occur every year. As the largest occuaptional group of health care workers nurses deliver the largest portion of patient care and not surprisingly report the highest number of sharps and needlestick related injuries.
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The full report can be found online www.rcn.org.uk