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Needlestick in UK anaesthetists

 

Clinical bottom line

Anaesthetists often under-report incidents, and often fail to collect blood samples from themselves or their patients on a routine basis when needlestick injuries occur.


Reference:

HJ Wise, RN McCormick. Re-enforcing hygiene practices of anaesthetists. Anaesthesia 1999 54: 1220-1221.

Study

Postal survey, in 1998, of 75 anaesthetist of various grades in two anaesthetic departments. The response rate was 69%.

Results

The main results are shown in Table 1. Most anaesthetists wore gloves routinely, but three-quarters re-sheathed needles, at least occasionally. Few who had needlestick injuries from hollow bore devices reported the incident or took blood from themselves or their patients.

Table 1: Findings in UK anaesthetists

Topics

Percent

Had HBV immunity checked in previous 5 years

100

Wear gloves routinely

58

Resheath needles on occasion

73

At least one needlestick injury from hollow bore needle

50

of whom blood sample taken after incident for HBV

11

of whom blood sample taken from the patient

22

of whom incident reported to occupational health department

15

Comment

Like other surveys, this shows that professionals often under-report incidents, and often fail to collect blood samples from themselves or their patients on a routine basis when needlestick injuries occur.