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LDI Issue Brief. 2002 Sep;8(1):1-4.

Needlestick injuries to nurses, in context.

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Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, USA.


Injuries with used needles and other "sharps" put health care workers at risk for serious bloodborne infections, such as HIV and hepatitis B and C. To some extent, this risk can be lessened through safer techniques (such as not recapping needles) and safer devices (such as needleless and self-sheathing equipment). But these injuries occur within a context (often a hospital unit) with organizational features that may themselves contribute to an increased or decreased risk. This Issue Brief summarizes a series of studies that investigate whether workplace aspects of the hospital (such as staffing levels, and organizational structure and climate) affect the risk of needlestick injuries to nurses.

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