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Needlestick injuries may lead to serious infections

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Health care workers face numerous occupational hazards in their line of duty. The risk of needlestick injuries is among them. These injuries occur when a sharp medical object, such as a needle or syringe, accidentally punctures the skin.

Beyond the immediate pain and discomfort, needlestick injuries can lead to serious infections. As a result, they pose a serious threat to the health and safety of health care professionals.

How needlestick injuries occur

Needlestick injuries are a prevalent concern among nurses, doctors and laboratory technicians who handle sharp medical instruments regularly. These injuries often occur during medical procedures, such as injections, blood draws or the disposal of used needles. Despite precautions and safety protocols, accidents can still happen. When they do occur, they place health care workers at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens and infectious diseases.

How needlestick injuries cause infections

A significant danger associated with needlestick injuries is the potential for infections. Bloodborne pathogens, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, are transmittable through contaminated needles. Health care workers who experience needlestick injuries must undergo immediate evaluation and testing to assess the risk of infection. Prompt medical intervention is often necessary to reduce the likelihood of developing an infection and prevent further transmission of the disease.

How to prevent injuries and infections

Employers must prioritize workplace safety by implementing comprehensive training programs. They should also provide personal protective equipment and ensure the proper disposal of used needles and sharps containers. The use of safety-engineered devices can also reduce the risk of needlestick injuries. For example, investing in retractable needles and needleless systems can reduce injury rates in hospitals and other medical settings.

Needlestick injuries pose a notable risk to the well-being of health care workers. Raising awareness about these injuries reduces the risks associated with them while protecting those who dedicate their lives to caring for others.

If you got hurt at work, contact our firm for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how we can help you. Call 610-892-9300 or reach us online.