Needle Stick Injuries

The National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) estimates that 600,000 to 800,000 needlestick injuries occur annually in the hospital setting with nursing staff being the most frequently injured.  EPINET data shows that needlestick injuries occur most frequently in patient rooms.

According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data, the number of needlestick and other percutaneous injuries among healthcare workers is growing every year. About half of these injuries are unreported.  At an average hospital, workers incur approximately 30 needlestick injuries per 100 beds per year.  In one study, needlestick injuries were reduced anywhere from 23% to 76% by using safer needles. However, this is not just a U.S. problem. There are more than 100,000 needlestick injuries in UK hospitals each year. Needlestick injuries are virtually undocumented in many developing countries, but probably equal or exceed those in the industrial world. Some 10 million needles are used every year in the NHS in Scotland with around 4,000 needlestick injuries, two-thirds of which are suffered by nurses. Thousands of Australian hospital workers suffer needle-stick injuries each year and the incidence is increasing. Doctors, nurses and scientists warn that the problem is far greater than statistics reveal, claiming that many injuries go unreported. Victorian Work Cover Authority figures show that the number of claims for needle-stick injuries in Australia jumped 12.6 per cent between 1996-97 and 1997-98.

Reported Needlestick Injuries in Massachusetts Healthcare Facilities Safety vs Standard (Non-Safety) Syringes

Sharps Injusries among Hospital Workers in Massachusetts 2002-2008 reports.

- Massachusetts Sharps Injuries Surveillance System

“Hospitals that have adopted safety devices in all situations…and still experience needlestick injuries often see the injuries occur as a result of non-activation of the device. So compliance with activation is still an issue influencing many hospitals to select devices with a ‘passive’ activation feature where the needle is covered automatically as part of the use of the device, such as retractable needles.” Gina Pugliese, Vice President Premier Safety Institute

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