Welcome to the ISIPS Newsletter September 7, 2018
Needlestick & Sharps Injuries
Study sheds light on needlestick injuries at MRFs
Sharps Injuries and Exposures to Blood on the Rise: Physicians Now Outpace Nurses in Reported Exposure Incidents
Hepatitis B and Hepatitis D
Truth about clinical waste
New study from EREF, in collaboration with SWANA, quantifies needlestick injury rates for MRF workers
Delafield Police Department becomes first in Wisconsin to use Needle Shark disposal system
The Staggering Injury Rates for Workers in Healthcare
Needle stick incident devastates family
School needle stick incident devastates family
VIDEO: Needlestick injuries costing NHS millions of pounds
According to the NHS Resolution’s annual report and accounts (2016/ 2017), it received 1,833 incident claims for needlestick injuries between 2012 and 2017 (fiscal years).
Of these, the 1,213 successful claims cost the NHS £4,077,441, but a UK-based company, NeedleSmart is now offering a technological solution to reduce injuries and costs – which is reported at more than 100,000 in the UK.
The new needle disposal technology, which can be used in hospitals, clinics and GP surgeries, takes a used hypodermic needle and transforms it into a sterile, non-sharp needle – in seconds.
NeedleSmart chief executive Cliff Kirby said the technology also has data benefits.
“Utilising the in-product Smart Technology, we can record the number of needles processed, types of needles and frequency of needles enabling real-time data.”
“This data can then be used for supple chain activity at source or a later date.”
Sharps injuries – are you at risk?
Standardised monitoring of sharps injuries is largely overlooked in the Australian healthcare industry even though healthcare workers suffer as many as 18,500 sharps injuries each year. Because not all injuries are reported, it’s estimated that actual numbers could be twice the amount.  It’s been more than 10 years since the statistic for needlestick injuries (NSIs) among Australian healthcare workers was identified, and despite calls for policy reform including routine NSI monitoring and mandated use of safety engineered devices (SEDs), Australia remains one of the few developed countries without legislation or jurisdictional directives mandating comprehensive adoption and use of SEDs.
Study examines needlestick injury rates within MRFs
The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) Raleigh, North Carolina, has collaborated with the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Maryland, on a study that examines the rate at which material recovery facility (MRF) workers are stuck by needles.The study indicates a needlestick injury rate of 2.7 per 100 workers. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) 2016 data, MRF injuries (including non-needlestick related) occur at a rate of 6 per 100 workers, suggesting 45 percent of MRF injuries could be attributed to needlesticks.
This study surveyed MRF owners on needlestick occurrences at their facilities, an area in which little data exists, EREF says. The survey, which was initiated online with follow-up calls and emails for additional information, includes responses from 35 MRFs across the U.S. and Canada. Fifty-three percent of these facilities noted having simply observed needles daily or a few times per week. Over half of the facilities observed them mixed with plastics. Because of their direct contact with waste material, MRF picking line workers experienced the highest number of incidences at a rate of 3.9 per 100 workers.
VanishPoint Blood Collection Set
The VanishPoint Blood Collection Set, from Retractable Technologies, Inc., features automated in-vein retraction that effectively reduces the risk of needlestick injuries and blood exposure.  The safety mechanism is activated by depressing a retraction trigger that is located near the finger-grip area.  This allows for easy one-handed activation, without changes in hand position, while reducing the risk of inadvertent activation.  The needle is retracted directly from the patient, virtually eliminating exposure to the contaminated needle.
Annual HIV report highlights disparities, declining numbers
Dozens at North Dakota's first-ever walk for HIV
In Côte d'Ivoire, a plan to reach at-risk men for HIV testing
HIV diagnoses fall to their lowest level in the UK since 2000
Every Vaccine You Need After Age 50
If you've lost track of which shot you last got — or are worried you don't know the latest about something like the new shingles vaccine — check out this list of what you need, when
For many of us, the word “vaccination” conjures images of dreaded trips to the pediatrician decades ago. But it’s not all about the kids. Adults — yes, even those 50 and older — need a poke to protect against serious, and potentially lethal, diseases. Protection from some of the vaccines you received as a child can wear off over time, and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sometimes change. “There are new vaccines that have come out in the past several years, specifically aimed at older adults,” says Morgan Katz, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Sharps Injuries And Exposures To Blood On The Rise: Physicians Now Outpace Nurses In Reported Exposure Incidents
Occupational exposure surveillance data collected by the International Safety Center from healthcare centers in the US reveal that workers have suffered an increase in needlesticks, sharps injuries, and blood and body fluid exposures (BBFEs) at work. These avoidable incidents can lead to the transmission of dangerous pathogens like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, measles and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
More injuries are occurring with sutures, reusable scalpels, between steps of a multi-step procedure, and in the operating room (OR). Find more details about the surveillance data at www.internationalsafetycenter.org.
State, county health departments’ new program to target hepatitis A
State working to eliminate Hepatitis C as public health problem
Hardee’s hepatitis scare sent 2,000 for treatment. Now, customers seek damages.
Adult At Bellevue Middle School Diagnosed With Hepatitis A
Lawsuit: Pregnant bride, guests exposed to hepatitis A at Newport reception
Wayne County still in Top 10 nationally for hepatitis A cases
Newlyweds sues Newport Syndicate over hepatitis A
Bellevue Middle School employee tests positive for Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A in the Homeless
HCV Infection Burden Among People Who Inject Drugs Varies By Country
The study authors state these data can be used to develop a tailored approach to the elimination of hepatitis C virus infection, worldwide.
Hardee’s hepatitis scare sent 2,000 for treatment. Now, customers seek damages.
A Hepatitis scare in June at a Hardee’s in west Charlotte that led to the treatment of thousands of customers has now spurred a class-action lawsuit against the restaurant owners.The complaint, originally filed in Mecklenburg County, surfaced in federal court on Friday. In it, two Hardee’s customers who say they ate at the restaurant on Little Rock Road after an employee was found to be infected with Hepatitis A accuse the owners of negligence and other failings. 4,000 people who ate at Hardee's near airport at risk for hepatitis A, county says. They want damages “in excess of $25,000” on each of three counts, the lawsuit says.
3 deaths reported in waning Utah hepatitis A outbreak
A Utah hepatitis A outbreak has killed three people since spreading from San Diego last year, but it's on the wane even as other states deal with similar outbreaks, health officials said Thursday.
The Utah outbreak of the virus began last year among Salt Lake City's homeless population and illicit drug users, and there were fears it could jump to the general population after restaurant and convenience-store workers were infected.
No new cases were discovered in connection with food handlers after a public push to check thousands of customers who visited the restaurants, epidemiologists said.
First ever case of West Nile Virus confirmed in Charlotte County
Human case of West Nile virus confirmed in Charlotte County
State reports third human case of West Nile virus
More West Nile Virus found in Linwood, Northfield mosquitos
Lafayette man with West Nile was at Hackberry camp when he became ill
Nebraska man claims missed West Nile diagnosis left him paralyzed
DR Congo's 'Ebola war' up against traditional beliefs
Ebola Triggers Alarms in Congolese City of Beni
In eastern DRC, nearly 2.5 million people reached in effort to contain Ebola outbreak
Eastern Congo has new Ebola case in city of 1.4 million
Congo records first Ebola case in major eastern city of Butembo
Ebola fear empties DR Congo village schools
New Ebola Virus Found in Bats
Join our upcoming chat: Ebola, vaccines, and a new epidemic
Rebels ambush South African peacekeepers in Congo Ebola zone
Blood tests reveal broad extent of Zika infection
Zika Cases Continue Inching Up In Florida
More Problems for Zika Babies
How close are we to a vaccine 2 years after the Zika outbreak?
Zika Virus Update: What You Still Need to Know
Occupational exposure surveillance data collected by the International Safety Center from healthcare centers in the US reveal that workers have suffered an increase in needlesticks, sharps injuries, and blood and body fluid exposures (BBFEs) at work. These avoidable incidents can lead to the transmission of dangerous pathogens like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, measles and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. More injuries are occurring with sutures, reusable scalpels, between steps of a multi-step procedure, and in the operating room (OR). Find more details about the surveillance data at www.internationalsafetycenter.org.
"We find the increase in contaminated sharps injuries incredibly concerning," commented Amber Mitchell, DrPH, MPH, CPH, president and executive director of the International Safety Center. "The reports indicate inadequate use of safer medical devices, even though devices with sharps injury protections have been available for decades. We are also troubled that failure to use safer devices is especially high among physicians." To look more deeply into the root cause of these injuries, the Center has introduced new Exposure Prevention Information Network (EPINet®) injury reporting forms in 2018.
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Jonas Salk gained worldwide fame for his polio vaccine; Louis Pasteur is remembered, among other things, for developing a vaccine against rabies, and Edward Jenner's name is forever connected to vaccination against smallpox. But history barely remembers the microbiologist who, arguably, saved more lives than any other doctor or medical researcher of the 20th century (and who continues to save millions every year despite having been dead since 2005). His name is Maurice R. Hilleman, and during his 40-year career, he developed over 40 human and animal vaccines (that's roughly a vaccine per year, for those of you playing at home), including the ones for chickenpox, hepatitis A and B, measles, meningitis, mumps, rubella, and several strains of the flu virus. The measles vaccine alone prevents an estimated 1 million deaths from the once-common disease every year.
Needlestick injuries are a common occupational hazard in the hospital setting. According to the International Health Care Worker Safety Center (IHCWSC), approximately 295,000 hospital-based healthcare workers experience occupational percutaneous injuries annually. In 1991, Mangione et al surveyed internal-medicine house staff and found an annual incidence of 674 needlestick injuries per 1,000 participants.1 Other retrospective data estimate this risk to be as high as 839 per 1,000 healthcare workers annually.2 Evidence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2004 suggests that because these are only self-reported injuries, the annual incidence of such injuries is in fact much higher than the current estimates suggest.
More than 20 bloodborne pathogens  might be transmitted from contaminated needles or sharps, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV). A quick and appropriate response to a needlestick injury can greatly decrease the risk of disease transmission following an occupational exposure to potentially infectious materials.
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  • Automated retraction is activated by securely closing end cap while needle is still in patient's vein

  • Once activated, needle is automatically retracted from patient, virtually eliminating exposure

  • Single use holder protects users from both ends of contaminated blood collection needles

  • Utilizes conventional multiple sample blood collection needles and prevents cross contamination

  • Capable of multi-tube blood draws

  • Small diameter tube adapter available for use with small diameter tubes


Karen Hoyt is one of our latest HEP Heroes and she is unique in being our first international recipient!
Speaking from Oklahoma in the United States where she lives, Karen talks about her diagnosis with hepatitis C and how she experienced the full gamut of conditions leading to a liver transplant. As a result of her condition, Karen became determined to help others, challenge stigma, and remain healthy. Her top three tips for people living with viral hepatitis: Take control of your nutrition, start physical activity and practice mindfulness.
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Reducing Needlesticks with Proper Disposal
Making sure you have a solution in place for sharps removal is a crucial component of sharps injury prevention. MedPro supports ISIPS mission to reduce these injuries among HCP’s and have heard far too many horror stories of physicians or staff loading up a box of sharps or medical waste and “driving it to the local hospital” for disposal. This not only puts you at risk for an injury, but also is could harm your practice should any of the waste spill. 
MedPro can help with solutions ranging from sharps mailback services to multiple pickups per week, we are here to meet the needs of your practice even as those needs change. 
If its been awhile since your practice had a “medical waste checkup”, give us a call. In an industry full of egregious price increases and surprise surcharges, MedPro is the changing the game with flat rate, transparent pricing and clear contracting terms. We’d be happy to show you or your administrator how much you could save by right-sizing your services, and working with a BBB A+ rated partner. Call us today at 888-678-4199 to get started or visit medprodisposal.com/isips for more information. 
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Most of us do not spend much time thinking about where our waste goes. But if you use biomedical equipment, it’s on you to responsibly dispose of waste that could pose a risk to others. Many people use sharps to manage health conditions. If you do, you should have access to a sharps container.
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Built-in safety mechanism is activated by fully depressing plunger while needle is still in patient 
Once activated, needle is automatically retracted from patient, virtually eliminating exposure
One-handed activation 
Requires minimal training
Safe, efficient disposal
Color coded for gauge size
1cc, 3cc, 5cc, and 10cc syringe sizes available, in a variety of needle gauges and lengths.
The settlement ensures all affected state prisoners will be treated for the disease.
A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit brought by four Colorado inmates against state prison officials for allegedly not adequately treating them for hepatitis C virus (HCV). The $41 million settlement will ensure all affected prisoners will be treated for the disease, The Denver Post reports.
According to the settlement, all Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) inmates with chronic hepatitis C symptoms will be treated with new direct-acting antiviral medications over the next two years. Under this agreement, the state prison system will spend $20.5 million on hepatitis C treatment during this fiscal year and $20.5 million next year.
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I got a need stick injury when I was working in custody. A needle in a poly bag was put into a needle bin, but part of the bag was left sticking out the top. It would not be uplifted unless properly closed and it looked like someone had just shoved a bag in, as if it was a bin. As I pulled the bag out of the bin, the needle sunk into my finger. The needle had been found in the street and handed in.The procedure was to go to A&E, but when there I was told there was nothing they could do. I had squeezed my finger, so some blood had come out and cleaned it. I had the needle, but it looked OK.
So, the next thing was to get an appointment with Occupational Health. That took a couple of weeks and when there, I filled out a questionnaire and was given some counselling, including use of a condom and a did a blood test. Hepatitis and HIV were the main concerns, since it was not known where the needle had originated from.
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A product designed specifically for the Phlebotomy market. Taking the contaminated sharp and associated parts at the point of use. The NeedleSmart Ph will destroy the sharp, separate the constituent parts, and sort them into specific waste streams ready for downstream disposal.

The NeedleSmart range has the potential to:
  • Reduce hypodermic needles to sharps bins by up to 70%
  • Generate a reduction in sharps disposal cost in the order of 30%
  • Costs reduction / end of line
  • Potential to recycle product
Charging figures: Full charging - 1p to charge. Melt 300 needles - 0.5p
12.5p / kWhr
More than 1,500 patients who received treatment at a Stittsville medical centre have been tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV by Ottawa Public Health after infection control lapses were discovered earlier this year.
The testing revealed that a handful of the patients are currently infected or potentially infected with hepatitis B or C (some need further testing). But a spokeswoman for Ottawa Public Health said they are satisfied those cases are not related to the lapses at Stittsville’s Main Street Family Medical Centre.
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Biological injuries are the most common and serious among health care workers.This study aims to estimate the injuries’ incidence, job distribution and temporal trend in a hospital in Southern Italy.  Three hundred and thirty-five injuries were reported from 2010 to 2016, occurring mainly in the morning (54%) and frequently caused by needlestick (70%). 
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Recent studies have shown that the rate of needlestick and sharp injuries (NSIs) are unacceptably high in Iranian hospitals. The aim of the present study was to use a systematic approach for predicting and reducing these injuries. The study was conducted in five hospitals in Tehran, Iran. Eleven variables supposed to affect NSIs were categorized based on Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS) framework and modelled using Bayesian network. A self-administered validated questionnaire was used for collecting the required data. In total, 343 cases were used for training the model and 50 cases were for testing the model. The model performance was assessed using various indices. Finally, using predictive reasoning several intervention strategies for reducing NSIs were recommended.
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Needle injuriesThe hazards of needles to MRF sorters are well recognized, but new research puts an estimate to just how many workers are injured by them each year. In a survey, more than half of MRF operators said they had employees injured by needles in a given year, according to a study by the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF). Extrapolating survey results, researchers estimated that hundreds, if not well over a thousand, MRF workers are injured by needles annually. “MRFs across the U.S. are working to decrease contamination in order to meet China’s new standards, putting more pressure on picking line workers to remove contamination and increasing the possibility of injury,” Bryan Staley, EREF CEO and president, stated in a press release. “Given the limited data available on needlesticks, this study aims to inform discussions and decision making related to worker safety.”
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