Journal of Health and Medical Sciences
Published: 16 April 2020
Needlestick and Sharp Injuries Among Workers in Primary Health Care
Sabina Šegalo, Daniel Maestro, Lejla Berhamović, Emir Berhamović, Dinko Remić, Arzija Pašalić
University of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Institute for Public Health of Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina, Public Institution Health Centre of Sarajevo Canton (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
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Keywords: Needlestick and Sharp Injuries, Healthcare Workers, Support Staff, Primary Health Care
Introduction: Needlestick injuries (NSIs) are one of the most frequent routes of the transmission of bloodborne pathogens in health care settings and the substantial source of occupationally acquired bloodborne infections. They remain a significant problem for developing countries that lack the ability to implement more reliable technologies and available guidance because of the economic situation. The objectives of the study were to determine the frequency of NSIs among healthcare workers (HCWs) and supporting staff in primary health care, to investigate the factors that caused these injuries and to evaluate a set of implemented guides. Methods: A retrospective study of the Department of infection control records of NSIs between January 2003 and January 2016 was conducted. Incidence proportion (rate of injury risk) was calculated for each profession with reported NSIs. Results: A total of 156 NSIs and sharp injuries were reported to the Department of infection control during the 12-year period. Among the group of HCWs, medical nurses/technicians (54.49%) were the most common injured workers, and the lowest numbers were reported by a physical therapist and dental technicians (0.64%). In a total number of cases, support staff accounted for 16.67%. The most incidents occurred during the use of needles, in 146 (90.6%) cases. Calculated incidence proportion for medical doctors is 0.24%, 5.33% for dentists, and 13.8% for medical and dental nurses/technicians and laboratory technicians. For support staff, the calculated rate is 6.04%. Conclusions: At the primary health care level, the NSIs frequency among all employee profiles is lower and it is suggesting the possibility of underreporting cases. Healthcare facility management should consider introducing new and more reliable technologies to reduce the number of NSIs especially among nurses/technicians, laboratory technicians, and cleaning staff. Additional training and preventive measures should be directed towards the proper disposal of medical waste. Management of the Institution presented engagement to prevent the occurrence of NSIs, and it is a positive example for all countries in transition.
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