Needle Stick Injuries

The best way to prevent a needle stick is to be informed.

You should not have to be stuck with someone else's problem. As persons working with blood and body fluids, you are at risk for contracting diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, and other bloodborne pathogens from needle sticks.

These diseases are preventable with the careful handling and disposal of contaminated sharps and with the use of safer sharps devices.

Approximately 800,000 U.S. health workers will be injured by patient needles this year according to estimates used by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Combined estimates from the CDC and EPINet, a computer-based standardized injury tracking system used by about 1,500 U.S. hospitals, suggests that more than 2,000 of those workers will test positive for hepatitis C, another 400 will get hepatitis B and 35 will contract the AIDS virus (Phalen, 1998).

Steps You Can Take to Prevent Needle Sticks

  • Wear gloves
  • Never recap
  • If you must, use the one-handed technique
  • Take your time
  • Dispose of contaminated needles immediately in puncture-resistant containers
  • Make sure sharps containers are accessible
  • User safer sharps devices (if available)

Additional Resources about Needle Sticks