Objective: Needle stick injury (NSI) is the injury sustained by health care workers (HCW) while providing care to the sick. This study aims to determine the frequency of NSI among doctors working at a tertiary care public hospital and their attitudes towards safe needle practice.
Methods: This survey was performed during January and February 2010 in Civil hospital, Karachi which is a 1670-bed tertiary care teaching hospital. Data was collected in the form of self-reporting questionnaire that include demographic information, duration of clinical experience, HBV vaccination and its titer, usage of protective gloves during venipuncture, number of needle stick injuries during last six months, post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) measures used and the practice for discard of used needles.
Results: Total 155 doctors participated with mean ± SD duration of clinical experience was 20.06±30 months. Total 93% respondents were vaccinated against HBV but only 24% knew their antibody titer. Only 31% always wear gloves while performing venipuncture. For discard of used needles, 49.7% recap and throw, 41.3% bend and throw and only 9% used needles cutters. Nearly half (43%) suffered from NSI during last six months. Among sufferers 34% discard blood,13% wash with soap and water, 28%did nothing after the incidents. Only 9% reported the incident to the concerned authorities.
Conclusion: Our study highlighted several deficiencies in safe needle practice that endangers the safety of doctors working in tertiary care teaching hospital.There is also lack of adverse incident reporting facility and guidelines. Increase awareness about the hazards, preventive measures and reporting strategies after needle injuries will help to optimize the occupational safety of health care workers.
Needle stick injuries, health care workers, occupational safety