Your Guide to Needlestick Safety in the Healthcare Setting

Working with needles in the healthcare setting can create real risks for both providers and patients. Prevention is the best way to reduce these risks, but understanding the need for that prevention may be necessary first.

Here is what you and your team need to know about needlestick injuries and how to prevent them in your facility: barrier kit .

How Do Needlestick Injuries Happen?

For many healthcare workers, contact with needles is an everyday occupational risk. There are many ways in which a person in the healthcare setting may encounter needles or other sharps, including:

  • Administering injections
  • Starting intravenous infusions
  • Preparing patients for surgical procedures
  • Carrying out surgical procedures, and more

Given how often healthcare workers encounter needles and other sharps, it only stands to reason that the risk of injury is much higher. This generally happens due to unsafe practices or negligence in handling or disposing of needles and can lead to serious health and safety concerns.

What are the Risks Associated with Needlestick Injuries?

Aside from the pain and possible injection site infections that are associated with any shot, needlestick injuries also carry far more serious risks. These include serious infections and bloodborne illnesses, some of which are:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV, and more

Some of these illnesses can be fatal, so needlestick safety is incredibly important.

Ensuring Needlestick Safety

How can healthcare workers and others who encounter sharps regularly ensure needlestick safety? Learning and strictly following best practices for safe handling and disposal is the key to keeping staff, patients, and the environment they work in cleaner and safer for everyone.

Needle use should be reduced or eliminated wherever possible. When necessary, needles should always be properly stored until ready for use. During use, they should be handled correctly, and any necessary safety features or devices should be used to make handling less dangerous.

A clear plan for safe needle disposal should be in place before any use occurs.

This plan should be reviewed regularly with staff and followed exactly during each needle use. Containers used for disposal should be visible and secure. They should be maintained by professionals and not easy for patients – especially children – to access.

Lastly, any injuries that do happen should be reported promptly. This way, risks can be reduced, and future injuries avoided. Only by putting procedures like these in place and following them habitually can your team avoid unnecessary injury and associated risks from needlesticks! To learn more contact Sharp Fluidics today.

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