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How are we doing in avoiding sharps injuries?

This cover story is a review of the state of the art in sharps safety, a decade after the enactment of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act.  It has a number of interesting facts: 

  • Direct employer cost of a needlestick injury = $3000 to over $5100
  • There has been an overall decline in sharps injury rates
  • Hospitals are further along than other providers in improving sharps safety
  • Needlesticks are of greater concern than blood splashes
  • Most accidental cuts in surgery occur when instruments are exchanged
  • Direct sharps waste is estimated to be over 150 million pounds per year

The article concludes with a listing of sharps safety vendors.

Source: Akridge, J.  Injecting safety into sharps practicesHealthcare Purchasing News;35(7):26+, July 2011.  Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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