International Safety Center

The International Safety Center has their updated website available at no cost to medical professionals. For O.R. Supervisors, as well as Nurse Educators and Risk Managers, there is a wealth of information on injuries in the healthcare setting. Perhaps more importantly many myths are debunked which include safety scalpels are inherently safer than standard scalpels with reusable handles. If you review the incidence of injuries the difference between standard handles and safety scalpels is apparent. This may indeed be why many OSHA inspectors have been somewhat lax in looking at how you handle your sharps purchase against the Blood Bourn Pathogen standard. The term oxymoron springs to mind as you can see from looking at the 2019 data below. Regardless, major fines are still being levied by OSHA for failures in Sharps Management within Hospitals and Surgi-centers.

This site I an ideal resource for Nurse Educators as it relates to all sharps injuries not just scalpel blades. Whether suture needles or other potential injury offenders, the site allows you to tailor teaching programs within your facility that engender an atmosphere of not just patient safety, but staff as well. All too often, the focus is solely on the patient. This really has to change as an unsafe staff automatically leads to safety issues in the patient population. Look carefully at the data presented and consider using it in your decision-making process as well as teaching safety.

EPINet Report for Needlestick and Sharp Object Injuries

Below Samples of what is reported

For what purpose was the sharp item originally used?

1 Unknown/not applicable 24 3.1%
2 Injection, intramuscular/subcutaneous 202 25.8%
3 Heparin or saline flush 1 0.1%
4 Other injections into IV injection site or port 9 1.1%
5 To connect IV line 6 0.8%
6 To start IV or setup heparin lock 27 3.4%
7 To draw a venous blood sample 51 6.5%
8 To draw an arterial blood sample 16 2.0%
9 To obtain a body fluid or tissue sample 20 2.6%
10 Fingerstick/heel stick 14 1.8%
11 Suturing 220 28.1%
12 Cutting 50 6.4%
13 Electrocautery 11 1.4%
14 To contain a specimen or pharmaceutical 2 0.3%
15 Other, describe 103 13.1%
16 To place an arterial/central line 14 1.8%

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