Needlestick and sharp injuries of health care personnel in a newly founded tertiary hospital: a prospective study

Abstract number: p1789

Falagas  M., Karydis  I., Georgoulias  G., Hatzopoulou  P., Nikita  D., Kostogiannou  I.


Needlestick and sharp injuries of health care workers are a major cause of anxiety and may expose susceptible employees to the risk of infectious diseases. However, the incidence of such injuries has not been examined in a newly founded hospital while preventive programmes are taking place.


We prospectively studied the needlestick and sharp injuries of employees in a newly founded tertiary hospital in Athens, Greece while a vaccination program against hepatitis B virus as well as educational activities for avoidance of injuries were taking place. Serologic studies for hepatitis B and C virus as well as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were performed in all injured employees and the source patients (when known).


Sixty-eight needlestick, 8 sharp injuries, and 3 splashes were reported during the study period (01/10/2002 to 28/02/2005) in 71 nurses, 2 housekeepers, 3 technicians, and 3 ambulance workers. The overall incidence (percutaneous injuries and splashes) per 100

full-time employment-years (100 FTEYs) was 2.4% whereas the incidence of percutaneous injuries alone per 100 FTEYs was 2.3%. A higher incidence of injuries was noted during the first than the second half of the study period (3.8% versus 1.8%, p = 0.003). No source patient was found positive for hepatitis C or HIV. The use of high-titre immunoglobulin after adjustment for the incidence of injuries was higher in the first than the second half of the study period (22.6% vs 3.8%, p = 0.05).


Although we did not adjust for possible confounders, our data show that educational and vaccination preventive programs for needlestick and sharp injuries led to a statistically significant decrease in the incidence of such injuries and use of high-titre immunoglobulin.

Session Details

Date: 01/08/2007
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: XXIst ISTH Congress
Location: Oxford, UK
Presentation type:
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