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Am J Infect Control. 2014 Mar;42(3):235-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2013.08.013. Epub 2014 Jan 2.

Needlestick and sharps injuries among medical undergraduate students.

Author information

1
Department of Audiology and Phoniatrics, Charité-University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
2
Occupational Health Service, Charité-University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
3
Department of Prevention, Unfallkasse Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
4
Dieter Scheffner Fachzentrum, Charité-University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
5
Department of Audiology and Phoniatrics, Charité-University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany. Electronic address: Manfred.gross@charite.de.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Needlestick and sharps injuries (NSIs) can cause a transmission of bloodborne diseases. In this study, injury rate, accident mechanisms, and targets for preventive strategies were investigated at a major university hospital hosting different medical study programs.

METHODS:

In 2009 and 2010, cross-sectional anonymous surveys were carried out among medical undergraduate students. Furthermore, all NSIs reported to the accident insurer from 2007 to 2010 were analyzed. This spans the comprehensive introduction of safety instruments in the university hospital in 2008.

RESULTS:

The online survey was completed by 1,214 students in 2009 and 917 students in 2010. Results show an injury rate of 21.4% per year (mean value). Accidents are mostly related to vein puncture, surgical procedures, and instrument disposal. Comparing 2 parallel medical programs, the educational curriculum using objective structured clinical examinations, which are associated with significantly lower NSI incidences. The rate of under-reporting is 53% (mean value). Analysis of the injury reports made to the accident insurer showed a 50% decrease in NSIs surrounding the introduction of safe instruments.

CONCLUSION:

Undergraduate medical students are at high risk of NSIs. Safe instruments and university instructions can prevent NSIs. Reporting procedures should be part of medical undergraduate training.

KEYWORDS:

Cross-sectional surveys; Medical education; Prevention; Reporting rate; Safety instruments

PMID:
24387948
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajic.2013.08.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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