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Resident Orientation Manual

Produced by Galveston Shriners Burn Hospital and
The University of Texas Medical Branch Blocker Burn Unit.
Contributors:  Sally Abston MD, Patricia Blakeney PhD, Manubhai Desai MD,
Patricia Edgar RN, CIC, John P Heggers PhD, David N Herndon MD,
Marsha Hildreth RD, Ray J Nichols Jr. MD

 

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.
2.  Factors contributing to those injuries.
3.  Measures available to protect oneself while working.

 

Activities that create risks for occupationally acquired injuries
and/or blood-borne pathogens
:

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.


REMEMBER

  Know situations that put you at risk for sharps injuries and implement the strategies to keep yourself safe.

√  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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