Epidemiology of needlestick and sharp injuries at a university hospital in a developing country: a 3-year prospective study at the Jordan University Hospital, 1993 through 1995.
Khuri-Bulos NA. Toukan A. Mahafzah A. Al Adham M. Faori I. Abu Khader I. Abu Rumeileh ZI.
American Journal of Infection Control. 25(4):322-9, 1997 Aug.
OBJECTIVE: To study the epidemiology of needlestick and sharp injuries in a university hospital in a developing country, Jordan.
METHODS: A prospective study was undertaken of all needlestick and sharp injuries among workers at the Jordan University Hospital between 1993 and 1995. Health care workers were asked to report in person to the infection-control team to verify the incident and to respond to a questionnaire. Blood was obtained from patients and health care workers immediately and from the health care workers 6 months later for hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and HIV testing.
RESULTS: During the 3-year period, 248 health care workers had needlestick and sharp injuries. Of these, 34.6% were staff nurses, 19%, environmental workers, 15.7%, interns, 11.7%, residents, 8.5%, practical nurses, and 6% were technicians. The incidence density was highest for the interns followed by staff nurses and environmental workers. Of incidents, 22.6% occurred during blood drawing, 11.3% during placing intravenous lines, 8.5% during administration of medication, 11% during recapping the needle, 10.5% during needle disposal, 12.5% during garbage collection, and 5% were caused by a neglected needle. Only 117 patients were identified; 36 of 62 of these had positive results for hepatitis B surface antigen, and 8 of 13 for hepatitis C virus.
CONCLUSION: Needlestick and sharp injuries occur frequently in developing countries. Safer disposal facilities and routine hepatitis B vaccine should be adopted.