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11th Annual International Sharps Injury Prevention Awareness Month

It occurs in just a fraction of a second — first, you are taking a routine blood sample and then the patient moves and the needle slips, sticking the potentially infected needle deep into the base of your thumb. As a result, you could contract HIV and die! This scene or similar scenes occur to an estimated 2,000,000 healthcare workers worldwide every year! These injuries could be prevented if workers were aware and had access to safer needle and other safety devices. That is one reason that ISIPS, the International Sharps Injury Prevention Society is promoting the 11th Annual International Sharps Injury Prevention Awareness Month in December 2012.

The sharps injury awareness campaign is designed to provide information to healthcare workers, waste management workers, and others who are injured through needlestick and other sharps injuries each year. Hospitals, physician offices and others are invited to participate in providing educational articles, mini-posters with sharps safety information, etc. ISIPS is happy to place links on our website and in the newsletter to promote these activities. ISIPS will be joined by a variety of health organizations, journalists, and others in making the working public aware of the dangers of needlestick and other sharps injuries. The worldwide International Sharps Injury Prevention Awareness Month will start on the International AIDS Day, December 1, 2012. This is appropriate since needlesticks and other sharps injuries can result in the transmission of more than 20 different pathogens that have come from infected patients to workers via needles including HIV that can lead to AIDS.

Needlesticks and other sharps injuries are preventable! More than 80 percent of needlestick injuries can be prevented through the use of safer devices. Far too often, healthcare workers are becoming patients after being injured by contaminated medical sharps. Many other workers are also at risk from sharps injuries including cleaning staff, housekeeping staff, paramedics, law enforcement workers, and firemen.

“Healthcare workers and others invest so much of their time, energy, and talents into taking care of the needs of their patients,” said Ron Stoker, executive director of ISIPS. “We need to provide proper medical devices that protect the healthcare worker as well as providing treatment to patients. We believe that the occupational hazards for healthcare workers have been underestimated on a global basis. Sharps injuries create an enormous health and economic problem even without subsequent infection. There are increasing numbers of incidents where workers are pricked by needles or other sharp instruments that may have been in contact with infected blood or other body fluids. Most of these injuries can be prevented.”

ISIPS is a world leader in providing information about sharps injury prevention products. ISIPS has joined in the fight to reduce the number of accidental sharps injuries that occur globally by promoting the use of safety-engineered products and services. The ISIPS website promotes sharps injury prevention products and services. The ISIPS website gives the opportunity for journalists, healthcare workers, and others to receive a free, weekly email newsletter with information about needlesticks, sharps injuries, HIV and Hepatitis

“It is the mission of ISIPS to reach as many healthcare professionals as possible during the International Sharps Injury Prevention Awareness Month,” said Ron Stoker. “The goal is to increase awareness as well as educate staff to safer practices to prevent injuries, saving lives and heartache in the process. We hope to encourage professionals within all niches of healthcare–from the hospital setting to manufacturing companies and suppliers, as well as various organizations–to jump on the bandwagon and join us in this mission.”

For more information about the International Sharps Injury Prevention Awareness Month contact ISIPS at