Needlestick injuries continue to pose a significant risk to health care workers; however, appropriate use of needlestick prevention devices, especially in comprehensive prevention programs, can significantly reduce the incidence of such injuries. Cost analyses indicate that use of these devices will be cost-effective in the long term. To provide more scientific and cost data on the efficacy of needlestick prevention devices, recording of needlestick injuries must be improved. Federal law now requires the use of safety-engineered sharps devises to protect health care workers, and state-level legislation on the use and evaluation of needlestick prevention devices is under consideration. Health care employers should evaluate the implementation of needlestick prevention devices with the participation of employees who will use such devices and, where appropriate, introduce such devices accompanied by the necessary education and training, as part of a comprehensive sharps injury prevention and control program.
Tan L, Hawk III JC, Sterling ML, for the Council on Scientific Affairs, American Medical Association. Report of the Council on Scientific AffairsPreventing Needlestick Injuries in Health Care Settings. Arch Intern Med. 2001;161(7):929-936. doi:10.1001/archinte.161.7.929