Needle Stick Injuries Among Medical Interns at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria.

  • T Okeke
  • En Aguwa
Keywords: medical interns, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, needle stick injuries, universal precautions.


Objective: To evaluate needle stick injuries among medical interns in a Nigeria Teaching Hospital. Design: It was a cross-sectional descriptive study.

Method: The study was undertaken in May 2004 and included all the 142 medical interns in University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu. Data was obtained using semi-structured self administered questionnaires.

Results: One hundred and fourteen (80.3%) of medical interns had needle prick injuries within the 12months of internship. Most injuries occurred while setting intravenous fluids. More males significantly had needle stick injuries than females (÷2 =33.67, df = 1,p=0.00). Only 39 (20.4%) of cases were reported. A few, 11.3%, did not treat the injury site within 1 hour of injury. Though most had heard of universal precautions only a few, 28(19.7%) were trained on the use of safe devices and safe handling of needles before starting internship.

Conclusion: Prevalence of needle stick injuries is high among medical interns and many cases go unreported. Medical interns are not trained safe handling of needles and some are not provided with personal protection.


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eISSN: 1118-2601