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Can Vet J. 2009 Dec;50(12):1278-82.

A survey of needle handling practices and needlestick injuries in veterinary technicians.

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  • 1Departments of Pathobiology (Weese) and Clinical Studies (Faires), Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1.


A survey of veterinary technicians identified that needlestick injuries are very common, with 210/226 (93%) technicians reporting at least one needlestick injury over the course of their career. One hundred sixty-seven (74%) had experienced a needlestick injury during the preceding year. Exposure to animal blood and various drugs was common. It was particularly concerning that needlestick injuries involving chemotherapeutic agents and prostaglandin were reported. Eight (3.5%) technicians had required medical care for a needlestick injury and 2 (0.8%) had lost time at work. The approach to sharps handling and needlestick injury avoidance was poor and most needlestick injuries had not been reported to employers. Measures need to be undertaken to improve sharps handling practices to reduce the number of needlestick injuries among veterinary technicians.

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