Not Just a USA Problem!
There are more than 100,000 needlestick injuries in hospitals in the UK each year. Needlestick injuries are virtually undocumented in many developing countries, but probably equal or exceed those in the industrial world. Some 10 million needles are used every year in the NHS in Scotland with around 4,000 needlestick injuries, two-thirds of which are suffered by nurses. Healthcare workers worldwide are concerned about needlesticks and other sharps injuries that result in life-threatening infections. Far too often healthcare workers are becoming patients themselves after being injured by contaminated medical sharps. These healthcare workers are contracting potentially deadly infections from sharps injuries that are largely preventable.
Discarded needles are commonly found in parks, playing fields, beaches, public toilets, communal stairways and alleyways. Thousands of Australian hospital workers suffer needle-stick injuries each year and the incidence is increasing. Doctors, nurses and scientists warn that the problem is far greater than statistics reveal, claiming that many injuries go unreported. Australian ambulance drivers indicate that needle-stick injuries are an occupational hazard them because they are often called to treat drug-overdose and psychiatric patients, the homeless, victims of severe trauma and the dying. The risk of occupational sharps injuries can confront ambulance workers while helping in car wrecks, toilets and dingy corridors when an ambulance officer has precious seconds to save a life.