Biomedical Research

Journal Banner

Needle stick and sharps injuries among health care workers: A 5-year surveillance in a teaching center in Saudi Arabia

Despite being recognized for many years, needle stick and sharps injuries (NSSIs) con-tinue to present a risk of occupational exposure to blood-borne pathogens for health care works (HCWs). This study was conducted to investigate the epidemiological characteristics of needle stick and sharps injuries (NSSIs) among healthcare workers (HCWs), their follow-up and immunization status for hepatitis B virus (HBV) among injured workers in a terti-ary teaching hospital in Saudi Arabia. It was a retrospective survey of all self-reported documents related to NSSIs, during the period of 5 years from 2001 to 2005. This study included 133 HCWs who reported NSSIs, nurses (45%) sustained the highest number of injuries followed by physician (26%). The majority of injuries occurred dur-ing the procedures. Analysis of the source of injuries revealed that known sources ac-counted for 97 injuries and unknown sources accounted for 36 injuries, most of them from garbage bags and devices left inappropriately. For injuries from known sources, 14,15 and 1 were positive for Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), antibody to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV), antibody to human immunodeficiency virus (anti-HIV), respec-tively. No seroconvention to HBV, HCV or HIV infection was observed among followed-up HCWs. This data emphasized the importance of selected training and education programs for specific practicing according to the nature and area of work should be directed to each specific group of HCWs for prevention of NSSIs, in addition to have effective sero- protection against HBV through vaccination.

Author(s): Malak M. El-Hazmi and Fahad M. Al-Majid