Malawi Medical Journal

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Association of the dominant hand and needle stick injuries for Healthcare Workers in Taiwan

N Mbirimtengerenji, J Schaio, L YGuo, A Muula


Healthcare workers face the risk of acquiring blood-borne infections from patients through needle stick injuries. Understanding the factors that are associated with increased risk, for example, the role of the dominant hand, is important so that preventive measures can be focused.
The EPINet (Exposure Prevention, Information Network- a trade mark of Virginia University) questionnaire was used to collect the data. The EPInet system started 2003 in Taiwan under C-MESH. When healthcare workers sustain sharp injury, they complete the injury report form, and report to infection control personnel, who then transmitted the data to EPINet website monthly.
93.5% of the healthcare workers reported being right handed and only 6.5% reported being left handed. About two-thirds (65%) of the reported injuries were by self, 30% injuries were by others and 5% were reported as injured by unknown.There was an association between the dominant hand injury and the needle stick original HCW user, p<0.0001. There is a significant difference between the dominant hand and the needlestick original HCW user.
HCW whose dominant hand was the right hand were most likely at risk to be injured by “others” than “self” or “unknown HCW”; OR≤ 18.39; CI (0.42 ± 2.33 ).
Needlestick injuries among health care workers in Taiwan continue to pose a serious occupational problem. Historically, prevention has focused on the use of protective wear than assessment of which hand may be at greater risk than the other. There is a greater need to prevent hand injuries as the dominant hand remains the most used and injured in process of patient care.

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