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How can unwanted needle pricks affect healthcare workers?

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

The threat of unwanted needle pricks casts a looming shadow over the practitioners dedicated to healing. Beyond the physical pain, these injuries pose a severe risk of infections and complications.

Delving into the issues and serious health concerns that can stem from needle pricks among healthcare professionals can help them better understand what they are facing.

Bloodborne pathogens

Unwanted needle pricks can increase the risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are often found on used needles. With Hepatitis C in particular, professionals estimate that healthcare professionals face a 1.8% infection incidence rate after a needlestick episode.

The nature of these pathogens demands adherence to safety protocols to reduce the risk of transmission.

Bacterial infections

Unwanted needle pricks can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream, triggering bacterial infections. These infections can show up as systemic conditions, affecting important organs. Timely medical intervention is important to prevent more issues related to these bacterial infections.

Chronic health issues

Beyond the immediate threat of infections, unwanted needle pricks can result in chronic health issues, prominently among them being nerve damage. The body can suffer from persistent pain, numbness and tingling sensations. Chronic health issues cause challenges for healthcare professionals, impacting their lives and the ability to complete their jobs to the fullest.

Unwanted needle pricks are a surprise that can leave people worrying about what to do next. The pursuit of excellence in healthcare must include not only patient care but also the protection of workers.