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Needlesticks in medical students in India

 

Clinical bottom line

Injury associated with drawing blood with a needle and syringe occurred at about 1.5 injuries per student per month.


Reference

M Varma, G Mehta. Needle stick injuries among medical students. Journal of the Indian Medical Association 2000 98:436-438.

Study

This report was a questionnaire survey of 100 third year medical students in India in 1996 and another 100 in 1997. They were asked about observation of safety precautions during invasive procedures like taking blood sample or giving injections, and whether they had been vaccinated against hepatitis B.

Results

There were 106 responses. Injuries occurred at some time in 65 students, predominantly while resheathing needles.

The most common injury was associated with drawing blood with a needle and syringe, occurring at about 1.5 injuries per student per month, but other injuries also occurred frequently, particularly stitching of wounds and intracatheter manipulations.

No student in 1996 had been immunised against hepatitis B, while 80% had been immunised in 1997 following a new intervention.

Comment

Injury rates with needle and syringe were common in Indian medical students.