Needlestick Injuries – The Problem & Prevention According to the Royal College of Nursing
Every day, nurses and other health care workers risk exposure to deadly viruses such as hepatitis and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) as a result of injury from used medical sharps, such as a needles.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) 2009 report on needlestick injuries explains that these injuries expose workers to over 20 different blood borne diseases but that the majority of these injuries could be prevented.
The report goes on to explain that while the majority of needlestick injuries are not life threatening, the possibility of developing infectious diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV can cause extreme 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 a half of all nurses (48%) had been stuck by a needle or sharp that had previously been used on a patient
- over a half of nurses (52%) fear needlestick injuries either ‘a great deal’ or ‘a fair amount’
- nearly a half(45%) of nurses reported they have not received training from their employer on safe needle use
- 95% of nurses consider that the availability of safer needle devices is either ‘essential’ or ‘preferable’, yet only a half report that they currently have access to any such device
The World Health Organization, European Agency of Occupational Safety, Health Protection Agency, and Health and Safety Executive all stress the importance of a preventative approach to needlestick injuries, encompassing safe working practises, reporting of incidents, the use of safer needle devices and the safe disposal of waste.
NeedleSmart’s innovative suite of devices solves this global problem by both sterilising and destroying needles at the point of use. NeedleSmart is market leading, patented needle destruction technology which takes a hypodermic needle at the point of use, heats it to over 1,300°C and compresses it into a ball. Heating the needle to an excess of 1300°C means all potential harmful pathogens, viruses and bacteria adhering to the needle will be killed. It takes just a fraction of a second to convert a sharp needle into a sterile sphere of metal.
The process can significantly contribute to the reduction of needlestick injuries and their consequential costs as well as having the potential to reduce the cost and increase efficiency of used needle disposal.
For more information about NeedleSmart, to get in touch or to arrange a demonstration;
call 0151 315 0500
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