Sai Shankar Prathap1, Anand Acharya2, Hari Ramani B3
Needle Stick Injury, a preventable problem, is a serious concern for all health care providers and workers and poses a significant risk of occupational transmission of blood borne pathogens such as HIV, HBV, HCV and some others. Relevant literature is scanty from India and none could be located from coastal Andhra Pradesh. The present study aims at determining the occurrence of Needle Stick Injuries in various categories of health workers in a tertiary care teaching hospital in coastal Andhra Pradesh, factors associated with these Needle Stick Injuries, circumstances under which they occur and the responses of the health care workers following the injury. The study also aims at assessing the awareness levels of the health care workers regarding diseases transmitted through Needle Stick Injuries.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
After getting the permission from the authorities of KIMS&RF and clearance from IEC of KIMS&RF, an institution based cross-sectional study on health care providers involved in diagnosis and treatment of patients and the cleaning staff using predesigned and pretested questionnaire was done after seeking their consent. The data collected included basic demographics of the study subjects, professional status and work experience, history of Needle Stick Injury during the last three years while on their job and the relevant details, perceptions regarding Needle Stick Injuries, knowledge on diseases associated with it and information regarding training on Universal Work Precautions. The data was entered in Microsoft Excel worksheet and analysed statistically using Epi Info version 6 software.
Of the 353 study subjects (97 males and 256 females) who answered the questionnaire, 53% reported to have experienced Needle Stick Injuries and 94% of study subjects believed it to be an important problem. About 43 % met with Needle Stick Injury more than once in the last 3 years. Only 30% reported about the injury and 31% did nothing after the injury. Highest number of Needle Stick Injuries occurred during injection administration followed by IV cannulation and blood collection. Highest proportion of Needle Stick Injuries occurred in ward (27.81%) followed by ICU (22.46%). Highest proportion of Needle Stick Injuries were suffered by nursing interns (20.84%) followed by nursing students (18.72%).
Needle Stick Injury is an important problem in this setup with significant knowledge and practice gaps which needs to be addressed immediately. Repeated training on Universal Work Precautions is to be emphasised and adherence to the standard protocols to be strictly ensured with an effective surveillance mechanism.