Needlestick Injury

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The Ultimate Guide to Needlestick Injury

Needlestick injuries are wounds caused by needles that accidentally puncture the skin. Needlestick injuries are a hazard for people who work with hypodermic syringes and other needle equipment.

These injuries can occur at any time when people use, disassemble, or dispose of needles.

Sharps injuries are a well-known risk in the health and social care sector. Sharps contaminated with an infected patient’s blood can transmit more than 20 diseases, including hepatitis B, C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Because of this transmission risk, sharps injuries can cause worry and stress to the many thousands who receive them.

Health and Safety (Sharps Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013

These Regulations implement the EU Council Directive 2010/32/EU on the prevention of sharps injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector. Many of the requirements contained in the Directive already formed part of health and safety law in Great Britain. The new regulations only contain those requirements that are not specifically addressed in existing legislation.

HSE has produced a Health Services Information sheet Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 to assist employers and employees to understand their legal obligations under the Regulations.

Engaging with GR Safety Solutions can help with the pressure of complicated legislations and policy writing. Let our team of experts take control of your requirements and rest assured your in good hands.

Needlestick FAQ's

What should you do after a needlestick injury?
If you pierce or puncture your skin with a used needle, follow this first aid advice immediately:
  1. encourage the wound to bleed, ideally by holding it under running water.
  2. wash the wound using running water and plenty of soap.
  3. do not scrub the wound while you’re washing it.
  4. do not suck the wound.
What is the protocol for needlestick injury?

If you sustain a needlestick injury, take the following actions immediately: • Wash the wound with soap and water. Alert your supervisor and initiate the injury reporting system used in your workplace. Identify the source patient, who should be tested for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C infections.

What tests are done after a needlestick?

Laboratory studies in exposed individuals/health care worker include the following: Hepatitis B surface antibody. HIV testing at time of incident and again at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months. Hepatitis C antibody at time of incident and again at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks.

Do sharps injuries need to be reported to the HSE
Reporting work-related sharps injuries

an employee is injured by a sharp known to be contaminated with a blood-borne virus (BBV), eg hepatitis B or C or HIV. This is reportable as a dangerous occurrence; … if the injury itself is so severe that it must be reported.

Why choose GR Safety Solutions for needlestick injury policies?

  • Our professional health & safety consultants are available 24/7 to advise and support you on any health & safety issues.
  • We’re highly qualified to carry out your risk assessments for you
  • We can act as your competent person
  • We create health & safety policies, procedures and management systems bespoke to your business
  • We can help you achieve and promote a positive health & safety culture
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