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Needlestick, sharps injuries may cause serious complications

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Needlestick and sharps injuries pose serious risks to health care workers who come in contact with contaminated needles, syringes or other sharp objects. These injuries occur when a needle or sharp object punctures the skin.

While such injuries may seem minor at first, they can lead to severe complications without proper treatment.

Health risks

Needlestick and sharps injuries can result in the transmission of bloodborne pathogens from an infected person to the person who sustains the injury. This can lead to infections such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. These conditions can have serious long-term consequences if left untreated.

These injuries can also cause localized tissue damage and inflammation. This can increase the risk of secondary infections. Prompt and appropriate medical treatment helps reduce the risk of infection. It also lowers the chances of other complications occurring.

Prevention strategies

Implementing safety protocols, such as following proper disposal procedures, can reduce the risk of needlestick and sharps injuries. Providing access to vaccination against bloodborne pathogens can also mitigate the risk of infection.

Education and training

Health care workers should receive comprehensive training on safe handling practices, proper disposal procedures and the correct use of personal protective equipment. Employers should also provide ongoing education and support to ensure that health care workers remain vigilant and proactive in preventing injuries.

Needlestick and sharps injuries occur in many health care settings, emphasizing the widespread risk health care workers face. Fostering a culture of safety helps organizations reduce the incidence of these injuries and safeguard the well-being of employees and the patients they serve.