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Epidemiology of Needle Sticks Injuries among The Health Care Workers of a Rural Tertiary Care Hospital -A Cross-sectional Study

Author:Radha R, Asif Khan

Keywords:NSI (needle stick injuries), HCW (Health care workers), awareness, PEP (post exposure prophylaxis)

Type:Original Article

Abstract:Background: Health care workers are entitled to safe working conditions and the organizations have the responsibility to provide the same for their employees (HCW). In this direction the epidemiological data on sharps in¬jury events, becomes an essential pre-requisite. Objectives: 1) To study the prevalence and associated factors of Needle Stick Injuries (NSI) among the health care workers of our hospital. 2) To assess the level of awareness of the health care workers regarding NSI. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted and data was collected using a anonymous pre-tested structured questionnaire among the respondents (441) of the health care workers of a tertiary care rural hospital. Statistical analysis was done using chi square test in Open Epi version 2. Results: About 57% (252 out of 441) of the Health Care Workers (HCW) had at least one episode of NSI in the preceding 12 months .Majority were Nurses (81%).The commonest devices involved was suturing needle (41%) and hypodermic needles (44%).Majority of the NSI (46 %) occurred during use of needle on the patient. About (85%) of the HCW didn’t report the injury. Hepatitis B vaccination rate was very low among HCW other than doctors. Doctors had better knowledge on all counts compared to other categories of HCW. A majority of the HCW (92%) were not aware of the reporting system existing in their hospital. Conclusions: The present study showed a high occurrence of NSI in HCWs especially among nurses followed by doctors and a high rate of ignorance and apathy among other categories. These issues need to be addressed, through appropriate education and other interventional strategies by the hospital infection control committee.