To prevent needlestick injuries, it is first essential to understand the circumstances under which these injuries occur (Auta et al., 2018).
Auta et al. noted that the highest prevalence of needlestick injuries in healthcare professions was amongst surgeons, nurses, and laboratory staff workers (Auta et al., 2018).
In addition, they examined the prevalence of needlestick injuries based on work experience. They also noted that healthcare workers with less than five years of working experience had a higher risk of injury than healthcare workers with more than five years of working experience.
There was no difference in the incidence of needlestick injuries when comparing male and female healthcare workers. Healthcare workers who received training on the prevention of needlestick injuries were less likely to experience injuries.
Burnout and anxiety can increase the risk of experiencing a needlestick injury secondary to distraction while performing tasks. Healthcare workers in the hospital setting are at increased risk of percutaneous injuries compared to those in the non-hospital environment.
Given that the risk of healthcare workers experiencing a percutaneous injury is approximately 1 out of every 3 (35.1%), it is essential to decrease and prevent the risk of injury (Auta et al., 2018).
Several factors influence the risk of transmission of diseases. These include; the viral load of the infected blood source, the volume of blood the healthcare worker is exposed to, the type of percutaneous injury, the vaccination status of the healthcare worker in certain conditions such as HBV as well as the post-exposure prophylaxis after the needlestick injury has occurred (Gropper & Miller, 2020).
As previously mentioned, the healthcare workers most at risk for experiencing percutaneous injuries secondary to sharps are surgeons, nurses, laboratory workers, or paramedics. However, when adjusted for full-time equivalent (FTE) units, nurses are at increased risk of percutaneous injuries compared to the other healthcare professions.
One of the main reasons for this increase is that procedures that necessitate using hollow-bore needles are related to an increased risk of disease transmission.