Date: January 5, 2021

Needle Stick Injuries

needlestick injury is the penetration of the skin by a hypodermic needle or other sharp object that has been in contact with blood, tissue or other body fluids before the exposure. Needlestick injuries occur in the healthcare environment. When drawing blood, administering an intramuscular or intravenous drug, or performing any procedure involving sharps, accidents can occur and facilitate the transmission of blood-borne diseases. These injuries transmit infectious diseases, especially blood-borne viruses. Concern includes the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which leads to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. In places with higher rates of blood-borne diseases in the general population, healthcare workers are more susceptible to contracting these diseases from a needlestick injury.

Some steps that can be taken for prevention are:

  • Use needle devices with safety features
  • Avoid recapping or bending needles that might be contaminated
  • Follow standard precautions, infection prevention, and general hygiene practices consistently
  • Plan for the safe handling and disposal of needles before use