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Preventing Needlestick Injuries in Health Care Settings

More than 8 million health care workers in the United States work in hospitals and other health care settings. Precise national data are not available on the annual number of needlestick and other percutaneous injuries among health care workers; however, estimates indicate that 600,000 to 800,000 such injuries occur annually. About half of these injuries go unreported.

Data from the EPINet system suggest that at an average hospital, workers incur approximately 30 needlestick injuries per 100 beds per year. Most reported needlestick injuries involve nursing staff; but laboratory staff, physicians, housekeepers, and other health care workers are also injured. Some of these injuries expose workers to bloodborne pathogens that can cause infection.

The most important of these pathogens are HBV, HCV, and HIV. Infections with each of these pathogens are potentially life threatening and preventable.

Full story can be found on VETMEDICS.

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