Needle Stick/Sharp injuries among Doctors and Nurses at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital
Healthcare workers are at a risk of contracting blood borne infections through injuries caused by contaminated needles and sharps. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of needlestick/sharps injuries among doctors and nurses working in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, (LUTH) and examine the need for a sharps policy. Using a multistage sampling method 250 respondents were selected and data was collected using a self administered questionnaire. The prevalence of needlestick/sharps injuries was high (72.9%). Most injuries were sustained while administering an injection, when drawing blood, and during vein cannulation. The most common actions taken following injuries were to wash the affected area under running water or with bleech. Few injured staff updated their hepatitis B vaccine and only 4.7% took HIV prophylaxis. Most respondents said there was no policy in LUTH concerning needlestick injuries and almost all (97%) felt a sharps policy should be implemented. We concluded that a sharps policy needs to be implemented in LUTH as this will reduce the high prevalence of such injuries and ensure that in the event of an accident, specific guidelines are followed to protect the injured.
NQJHM Vol. 15 (2) 2005: pp. 50-54