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Prevalence of needle stick injuries among dental, nursing and midwifery students in Shiraz, Iran

Author(s): Mehrdad Askarian | Leila Malekmakan | Ziad A. Memish | Ojan Assadian

Journal: GMS Krankenhaushygiene Interdisziplinär
ISSN 1863-5245

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: Doc05;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: needle stick injury | nursing students | midwifery students | blood borne viruses | dental students

Background: The risk of occupational exposure to blood borne pathogens (including hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV) via sharp injuries such as needle stick injuries (NSIs) among health care workers, especially dental, nursing and midwifery students is a challenging issue. Inadequate staff, lack of experience, insufficient training, duty overload and fatigue may lead to occupational sharp injuries. The aim of this prospective cross-sectional study was to evaluate the frequency of NSIs in Iranian dental, nursing, and midwifery students and their knowledge, attitude and practices regarding prevention of NSIs. Methods: A questionnaire was provided to 264 dental and 435 nursing and midwifery students during their under graduate clinical training. 52% of dental students and 48% of nursing and midwifery students responded to the questionnaire. The questionnaire was pre-tested for reliability on 9.2% of the 55 sample population and found to have a high (r=0.812) test-retest reliability. Results: 73% of students reported at least one NSI during the past year. Activities most frequently associated with injuries involved use of a hollow-bore needle during venous sampling or IV injection in both groups, followed by wound suturing in nursing and midwifery students and recapping in dental students. NSIs and non-reporting of NSIs were highly prevalent in these participants. The reason for not reporting injuries included not knowing the reporting mechanism or not knowing to whom to report. Conclusion: Education about transmission of blood borne infections, standard precaution and increasing availability of protective strategies must be enforced. Furthermore, an optimization of the management for reporting is warranted.
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