Chintha Sujatha1, Jacquilene Vadasseril2, Govind Jayaprakash3, John K. Joy4
Injury (NSI) is a major occupational health and safety issue among Healthcare Workers (HCWs). In India, incidence
of NSI is high, but surveillance is poor with scarce authentic data.
he aim of the study is t o determine the occurrence of NSI, i ts associated factors and assessment of knowledge and practice
of preventive measures and post exposure prophylaxis among HCWs in a tertiary care hospital in Kerala.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
sectional study was conducted among 515 HCWs who included doctors, house surgeons, final year medical students,
nurses, student nurses and lab technicians of a government sector tertiary care hospital in Kerala. All HCWs of the institution
present during t he study time were included and only those unwilling to participate excluded. Ethical clearance and
administrative permission was obtained along with informed consent from subjects after ensuring confidentiality. Content
validated, structured questionnaire consisting of questions regarding demographic data, incidence and prevalence of needlestick
injury, circumstances leading to it, response of subjects to NSI and knowledge of study subjects on post exposure prophylaxis
was administered to the study subject s. The technique of data collection was self reporting by the study subjects. Data collected
was analysed using statistical software Epi Info 7.
Overall, 55.7% HCWs had sustained at least one NSI in this hospital
while 35% of them had a NSI during the current year.
NSIs were sustained during blood withdrawal (34%), injections (20.5%), suturing (20.2%) and can n ula insertion (12%).
Recapping the needle (26%) was the most frequent cause followed by collision with oth ers (24%), manipulation of needle in
patient (23%) and during/in transit to disposal (10%). Majority (84%) did not report the incident, 8.4% underwent post
exposure follow up, 82% of the HCWs were fully h epatitis B vaccinated, 44% had received training, 62 used gloves, 49%
recapped needles and 55% followed proper sharp disposal. Significant association was found between NSI and male gender (p
<0.001), designation (p <0.001) and years of experience (p <0.05) with interns and those with less than one year s experience
at greater risk.
The study warns significant workplace risk for the HCWs and calls for proactive interventions along with constant surveillanc
In the light of the present study findings it is evident that NSI poses a significant risk in a HCWs workplace. The risk is higher
when we consider the lack of adequate personal protective equipment, standard protocol and proper reporting authority which
is compounded by inadequate training and experience, lack of awareness and negligence of safety conscious behaviour of