Increase in Sharps Injuries in Surgical Settings Versus Nonsurgical Settings after Passage of National Needlestick Legislation

Source: Janine Jagger, Ramon Berguer, Elayne Kornblatt Phillips, Ginger Parker, Ahmed E. Gomaa, Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Vol. 210 Issue 4, April 2010
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From the abstract:
The operating room is a high-risk setting for occupational sharps injuries and bloodborne pathogen exposure. The requirement to provide safety-engineered devices, mandated by the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2000, has received scant attention in surgical settings.

Despite legislation and advances in sharps safety technology, surgical injuries continued to increase during the period that nonsurgical injuries decreased significantly. Hospitals should comply with requirements for the adoption of safer surgical technologies, and promote policies and practices shown to substantially reduce blood exposures to surgeons, their coworkers, and patients. Although decisions affecting the safety of the surgical team lie primarily in the surgeon’s hands, there are also roles for administrators, educators, and policy makers.

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