Prevalence of Needle Stick Injuries among Healthcare Workers in Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH) Orlu South Eastern Nigeria
Background: Needle stick injuries represent one of the most important occupational hazards to which health workers are exposed. These injuries result from accidental piercing of the skin and or mucous membranes by sharp objects. Needle stick injuries carry the risk of exposure to blood-borne pathogens, especially hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Objective: To determine the prevalence of needle stick injuries amongst health care workers in Imo State University Teaching Hospital Orlu South East Nigeria.
Methods: This is a descriptive cross sectional study. Data was collected using a semi-structured, interviewer administered questionnaire. Result were analyzed and presented using descriptive statistical methods.
Results: Out of a total of 153 respondents, only 36(23.5%) suffered at least one needle stick injury in the previous year. The highest prevalence rate was among the nurses 23(28.4%). Most injuries occurred during intramuscular injection 17(47.2%).10 (27.8%) reported their injuries to a doctor/supervisor. 9(25%) received post exposure prophylaxis.
Conclusion: The prevalence of needle stick injuries among respondents was 23.5%. Nurses were mostly affected. Most of the accidents were unreported. Risk factors identified were nature of occupation, non use of personal protective devices and inadequate training on safety practices.
Key words: Needle stick injuries, healthcare workers, prevalence