Navigation Links
'Sharps' injuries have major health and cost impact for surgeons
Date:4/2/2013

Philadelphia, Pa. (April 2, 2013) Injuries caused by needles and other sharp instruments are a major occupational hazard for surgeonswith high costs related to the risk of contracting serious infectious diseases, according to a special article in the April issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

ASPS Member Surgeon Dr. Kevin C. Chung and colleagues at The University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, review the risks, health impact and costs of "sharps" injuries for surgeons and other operating room personnel. They write, "Increased attention to the health, economic, personal and social implications of these injuries is essential for appropriate management and future prevention."

High Rate of Sharps Injuries in ORSurgeons at Highest Risk Nearly 400,000 sharps injuries occur each year in the United States. About 25 percent of injured workers are surgeonsfor whom the risk is highest in the operating room. "Despite healthcare policies designed to protect healthcare workers, injuries remain common," Dr. Chung and colleagues write. Nearly all surgeons will sustain a sharps injury sometime during their career. Medical students and residents are also at high risk; fatigue and inexperience are important risk factors.

The main health concern of sharps injuries is the risk of acquiring a communicable disease from a patient. While HIV is the most-feared result, the risk of infection with hepatitis B virus is actually much higher. Sharps injuries can also have a major psychological impact on the injured person and his or her familyparticularly during the time needed to confirm that the injured worker is free of infection, which may take several weeks or months.

Once an injury occurs, there are standardized guidelines for post-exposure prevention, depending on whether the patient has any known transmissible infections. Recommendations include antiviral medications for healthcare workers exposed to HIV and hepatitis B or C virusideally starting within hours after the injury.

As a result of the need for testing and treatment, sharps injuries have a major economic impact. Average costs for testing, follow-up and preventive treatment range from $375 for needlestick exposure from a patient with no known blood-borne illness, up to nearly $2,500 for injuries from a patient with known HIV.

Need for Increased Emphasis on Reporting and Prevention Post-exposure prevention can only be executed if the injury is reported. One study found that 70 percent of surgeons "never or rarely" report sharps injuries. They may feel they "don't have time" to report, or may misunderstand the risks involved.

"Fortunately, the majority of sharps injuries are preventable," Dr. Chung and colleagues write. Engineered safety devices can prevent many injuriesespecially if surgeons and other workers are involved in choosing to use them. Other options include the use of "non-sharp" alternatives, creating safe procedures for passing sharp instruments and wearing double gloves to reduce the risk of infection.

Over the years, regulations have been introduced to ensure that proper prevention and reporting strategies are in place. Introduction of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2000 led to an overall 38 percent reduction in injuries in all care settings. However, one study reported that the rate of sharps injuries in the operating room actually increased. "Although preventive strategies exist, their success ultimately relies on clinician compliance," Dr. Chung and coauthors write.

The authors hope their review will help to increase awareness of the risks and potential harms of sharps injuries among surgeons and operating room personnel, and to increase awareness of efforts to reduce the risk. They conclude, "Targeting educational initiatives during medical school and training may improve knowledge among surgeons of the safest ways to practice in the operating room, and ensuring compliance among all surgeons in practice can reduce the economic and psychosocial burden of these highly prevalent injuries."


'/>"/>

Contact: Connie Hughes
connie.hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Overuse Injuries Common Among Female College Athletes
2. Job injuries among youth prompt calls for better safety standards
3. Football-related catastrophic brain injuries on the rise
4. Death From Accidental Injuries Among Kids Drops 30%: CDC
5. Catastrophic Head Injuries to High School Football Players Rising
6. On-the-Job Injuries Can Be Lethal to U.S. Teens
7. On-the-job deaths steady in Michigan; Number of burn injuries underreported
8. New standards for treating traumatic shoulder injuries to improve patient care
9. Ex-Players Sue NFL Over Brain Injuries
10. New study finds increase in track-related injuries among youth in the United States
11. Kids Track Injuries Surge in US
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... production of its newest mobility device, the StandUp Walker. Made entirely in the ... in the last 50 years. , StandUp Walker’s novel patent-pending design offers 2-in-1 ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... LLC to help enterprises move workloads to the cloud. Cirracore provides a ... their cloud without traversing the Internet. Transformation Solutions (TSL Partners) provides a ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy (BioPlus), one ... ‘Pay It Forward’ program into 2016. BioPlus partners with several non-profit patient foundations ... , “Since our Pay It Forward program began, we are proud to have ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... ... On January 12, 2016 Paul McElwee, a CroppMetcalfe HVAC technician, visited a home ... any heat. Shortly after entering the home, Paul was able to identify the problem ... carbon monoxide into the home, at 2,000 parts per million in the flue. Anything ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. ... department stores, announced it has raised $176,000 to benefit the Breast Cancer Research ... Center at the University of Iowa, The Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation, and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... "Company") (NASDAQ: UNIS ; ASX: UNS), a developer and ... for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 (three months ended December ... Financial Results for the Second Quarter of Fiscal 2016 ... the second quarter of fiscal 2016 was $4.5 million, compared to ... customers for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 were $17.8 million, ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... 2016  Axovant Sciences Ltd. (NYSE:  AXON), a ... of dementia, today announced further details of three ... functional aspects of Lewy body dementia, a disease ... Two out of the three studies were recently ... later this quarter. In addition, the Company reported ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... Hearing protection devices refer to the barriers that reduce ... ear. Hearing protection devices include earplugs, uniform attenuation earplug, ... users exposed to noise levels of over 80 dB ... inserted in the ear canal to protect the ear. ... sound perception with the help of acoustic filters. Earmuffs ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: