Needlestick injuries are most common at hospitals, which rank first among the several types of UK healthcare institutions. Needlestick injuries are expected to cost each NHS Trust £500,000 a year (an estimated £127m throughout England), with an annual total of over 100,000 injuries connected to needles and sharps (many of which go unreported).
A recent poll of 500 surgeons in the UK indicated that 94% of surgeons had either experienced a needlestick injury themselves or been exposed to a colleague who has.
In fact, just 2% of doctors said they’d never had a needlestick injury while they were on the job. Despite the advances in hospital safety practice and innovations in needle technology, the dangers of disease transmission via needle stick injuries are still quite significant, as this study demonstrates (although with a small sample size). Hospitals are becoming increasingly aware of the need for more robust sharps injury control techniques to reduce needlestick injury rates.
Lessen The Chances Of Being Injured By A Needle By:
- Sharps injury prevention and SED usage training should be provided to all employees, particularly at the time of orientation and if exposure occurs.
- To promote the reporting of sharp injuries, a “no blame, no shame” culture is being developed.
- The institution should periodically publish and make available to all employees sharps injury statistics.
- Establishing annual targets for reducing the number of sharps-related injuries, such as a 10% drop-off.
- Reminding workers to take their time and practise mindfulness during sharps procedures
- By annually evaluating SEDs and yellow sharps bin disposal containers for safety, as well as the facility’s overall Exposure Control Plan,
- Please evaluate your current SED use and strive to increase it to 100% for all hollow-bore needle operations.
- Determine goals like “100% of SED to be activated after usage” via an audit of the activation process.
- With special emphasis on setting up systems, placing medical waste containers, and educating surgical personnel.
- When compared to other areas of the hospital, the Operating Room still has the greatest incidence of needlestick injuries.
- Remind those who work with sharp objects, such as surgeons and nurses, that “sharp injuries DO NOT come with the job,” and work to alter the accepted norm.
- Neutral Zone hand-free sharps passing should be used in all surgical operations whenever practical.
UK Medical Centres’ Duty to Treat Patients
Strategies to prevent injuries from sharp objects are mandated by legislation. Employers have a responsibility under the Health and Safety at Work Act. 1974 to guarantee their workers’ health, safety, and welfare, to the extent that this is reasonably achievable. This involves providing a sharps-injury-free workplace, as well as safe tools, training, and work procedures. In May of 2010, the European Union approved a new directive with the express purpose of protecting healthcare workers.
Additional regulations that apply to injuries caused by sharps include the following:
2013 Reporting of Diseases Injuries and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations
After receiving an injury from sharps, it is necessary to formally report any known exposures to blood-borne viruses.
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
Evaluate the possibility of being exposed to blood-borne viruses and other blood-borne biological risks, and then take the necessary precautions to prevent such exposure.
Management of Health and Safety at work Regulations 1999
Conduct an analysis of how likely it is that employees will be injured by sharp objects as a result of the work activities and procedures they are required to perform, and then inform and train employees on the potential hazards and preventive measures to take if such injuries do occur.
1998 Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations
Choose the appropriate gear (for instance, yellow bag waste disposal), and then offer instructions on how to use it safely.
Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981
As a reaction to an injury caused by sharps, provide first aid treatment (including out-of-hours support).
Safety Representatives and Safety Committee Regulations 1977
Safety representatives should be consulted with the selection of equipment such as safety-designed devices, receptacles for sharps, and suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) or protection.
Needlestick injury prevention strategies have the potential to save lives.
Many nurses and other UK healthcare workers have contracted potentially fatal infections from sharps injuries that may have been avoided.
Even though most people who get poked by a sharp do not have an infection, those who are nonetheless subjected to months of testing, blood tests, and antiviral medicines while anxiously awaiting infection results are not pleasant for anybody involved in the healthcare setting. Life may be saved with the use of safer needle devices, proper yellow bag waste collection, sharps containers, and clinical training programmes.
Sharp objects must be documented before being removed.
Record-keeping about the disposal of sharps and other types of healthcare or medical waste from any facility is crucial. That’s a must for ensuring conformity with the rules.
The removal and disposal processes for sharps must always prioritise worker safety.
If you have questions concerning sharps bin collection or yellow bin waste collection and the processes and procedures that will keep your facility in compliance, don’t hesitate to get in contact with a representative from Trikon Clinical Waste.