PREVENTION OF NEEDLESTICKS
Some of the more significant risks for hospital staff are injuries and infections from handling sharps. The following guidelines are provided to enhance staff awareness of:
1. Activities that increase risks of injuries.
Activities that create risks for occupationally
The following activities are known to increase the risk of an injury and/or infection from sharps -
◦ Inserting intra-vascular catheters.
◦ Restraining patients.
◦ Moving patients with staples in wounds prior to visually inspecting for loose staples.
◦ Removing needle during threading of catheter.
◦ Disassembly of devices.
◦ Transporting sharps any distance to disposal containers; overfilled containers.
◦ Disposal of sharps.
◦ Accessing IV line with needles.
◦ Removing needle devices when disconnecting IV.
◦ Preparing needle and holder.
◦ Withdrawing blood sample.
◦ Recapping needles.
◦ Removing needle from holder.
◦ Opening lancet cover.
◦ Positioning/using lancet.
◦ Passing of instruments in the operating room.
◦ Use of non-safety catheters.
◦ Separate packaging of safety devices.
◦ Not wearing gloves in procedures involving sharps.
◦ Increasing the number of times devices must be assembled/disassembled.
◦ Skill level of employee or failure to adhere to policy and procedure regarding safe use of sharps.
◦ Choosing an inappropriate device for procedure.
√ Learn how to use the equipment the hospital uses to help prevent needlesticks.
√ Be sure to report any sharps injury or risk of sharps injury to your supervisor as soon as possible.
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