Safety

The Facts


  • In the EU more than one million needlestick injuries occur every year.1

  • Of the 16,374 needlestick injuries registered in Spain from 1996 to 2000, 87% were caused by hollow-bore needles2

  • Needlestick injuries are a common occupational hazard for healthcare workers.

  • In the UK, an expert panel concluded that 56% of all percutaneous injuries and 80% of venepuncture and injection injuries could probably or definitely have been prevented through the use of safety devices.2

  • Frequency (%) of needlestick injuries by profession

    Frequency of needlestick injuries by profession

    Adapted from Cullen BL et al 2006. Total numbers of injuries over a 6 month period = 952
    Other represents a collection of other groups where each group accounts for <3% of all injuries.

  • Frequency (%) of needlestick injuries by procedure

    Frequency of needlestick injuries by procedure

    Adapted from Cullen BL et al 2006. Total numbers of injuries over a 6 month period = 952
    Other represents a collection of other groups where each group accounts for <3% of all injuries.

  • In Germany, the estimated number of needlestick injuries per year in hospitals is 500,000

  • Needle stick injuries cause significant economic burden including costs of immediate management, time off work, and long-term treatment for transmitted chronic infections such as hepatitis B and C.

    • In the USA, annual costs of $188.5 million have been estimated.3
    • In Europe, estimated country annual costs range from €6 million for France to £300 million for England and Wales.4
  • The economic burden of NSIs may be underestimated.

    • NSIs are often under-reported.5
    • Estimated costs of NSIs may not measure all cost categories.6
  • NSI prevention strategies, including the introduction of safety-engineered devices, generate cost savings.

    UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimated 10-year overall savings of £10 million to £34 million from implementing alternative European Commission strategies to protect health care workers from NSIs.5

 

1European Parliament. Preventing needle-stick injuries in the health sector, 11th February 2010.

2Cullen BL et al. Potential for reported needlestick injury prevention among healthcare workers through safety device usage and improvement of guideline adherence: expert panel assessment. J Hosp Infect 2006; 63:445-51.

3Leigh JP, Gillen M et al. Costs of needle stick injuries & subsequent hepatitis and HIV infection. Curr Med Res Opin 2007;23(9):2093-2105.

4Saia M, Hofmann F et al. Needlestick injuries: incidence and cost in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Biomed Int2010;1:41-49.

5Elder A, Paterson C. Sharps injuries in UK health care: a review of injury rates,viral transmission and potential efficacy of safety devices. Occupational Medicine 2006;56:566-574.

6UK Health & Safety Executive. European Commission measures for protecting healthcare workers from infections due to needlestick injuries. Paper No. HSE/08/60: 2008.