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ADDRESSING THE STICKING POINT OF NEEDLE & SHARPS INJURIES

April 9, 2018
Despite it being nearly 20 years since the signing of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (NSPA) into law, about 385,000 sharps-related injuries occur annually among healthcare workers in hospitals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accidental needlesticks can expose clinicians to various diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis, diphtheria, herpes, malaria and tuberculosis. Nurses who handle dirty linens and waste containers are at particular risk of these injuries and are encouraged to advocate for the institution of safety measures in workplaces where there is occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials, as expressed by the NSPA. Even when safety measures are instituted, nurses can never be too careful about taking precautions on a daily basis, say nurses who recently spoke with ADVANCE.
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