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Am J Infect Control. 2013 Sep;41(9):815-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2012.10.017. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

Ditch the pinch: bilateral exposure injuries during subcutaneous injection.

Author information

1
Orvis School of Nursing University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV, USA. lblack@unr.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Subcutaneous injection into an elevated skin fold poses a risk of "bilateral exposure" injury whereby the needle pierces the opposite side of a skin fold and subsequently enters the tissue of the health care worker (HCW).

METHODS:

Retrospective review was conducted examining the Exposure Prevention Information Network (EPINet) needlestick surveillance data. Data from 2,402 injuries occurring during subcutaneous injection were included for analysis. Descriptive data, statistical comparisons, and a logistic regression model reporting relative risk are provided.

RESULTS:

Eighty-five bilateral exposure injuries were identified between 2000 and 2009, representing 3.5% (n/N=85/2,402) of all injection-related percutaneous injuries. 65.4% Of the variance in bilateral exposure injury occurrence is explained through examination of the following: (1) manual elevation ("pinching") subcutaneous tissue prior to injection; (2) thin/emaciated patient; (3) injection of insulin; (4) injection of heparin; (5) injection of enoxaparin (Lovenox); (6) if a safety device was used; and (7) whether the health care worker was wearing gloves at the time of the injury (χ(2)7 = 424.2; P<.01).

CONCLUSION:

Manual tissue elevation should be avoided to minimize the risk of bilateral exposure injuries.

KEYWORDS:

Double exposure; Needlestick injury; Patient exposure

PMID:
23394858
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajic.2012.10.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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