Study Shows Healthcare Worker Needlestick Injuries Dramatically Reduced Through Use of Safety Feature-Enhanced Needle Disp

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- A safety enhanced disposal device could prevent more than 19,000 accidental needlesticks and other “sharps” injuries to healthcare workers, suggests a study published in the current issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

The study found the use of the Daniels Sharpsmart sharps disposal device reduced by 81 percent the number of container-associated sharps injuries that occurred in a group of 14 hospitals over one year. The number of sharps injuries were four-fold fewer in those hospitals compared to 14 hospitals that used a different sharps disposal device.

Healthcare workers stuck by sharps such as needles, scalpels, scissors and lancets are at risk of being infected by one of more than 60 blood borne diseases, the most worrisome being HIV and Hepatitis B and C. Hospital healthcare workers alone incur about 385,000 sharps-related injuries yearly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sharps injuries also can occur in other healthcare settings, including physician and dentist offices, clinics, nursing homes and even private homes.

Sharps injuries can occur in a variety of ways, including during disposal of the sharp in a container made for that purpose. When using standard disposal containers, the healthcare worker can get stuck by the needle as it is being deposited in the container or by another needle that is protruding from the opening, because the container is too full, or because previous needles were not correctly contained.

The Daniels Sharpsmart device incorporates Human Factors Engineering in its design which enables it to accommodate a broader spectrum of user behavior in sharps disposal. This enhanced safety is achieved with a larger opening, a larger “staging area” (between the opening and the collection area), a gravity-activated deposit tray, overfill protection, one-hand-enabled disposal and safe final-closure activation.

In 2001, a national effort to reduce needlesticks resulted in a dramatic 34 percent drop in such injuries a year after enactment, but the incidence has remained stable since then.

“Other than a few modest improvements, sharps disposal containers haven’t changed much in several years,” said lead author Terry Grimmond, F.A.S.M, a microbiologist and consultant who designed the study as well as the data collection method. “This study suggests that design improvements can significantly reduce the effects of risky human behavior.”

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For Daniels Sharpsmart
Tim LeRoy, 312-558-1770 ext. 128
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Illinois

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Hospitals  Medical Devices  Medical Supplies