Over 95% of surgeons are affected by needlestick injuries. A new survey reveals the real numbers of an emergency
What does come to your mind when you think about a list of risky jobs ? Being a doctor or a surgeon might not be top of the list. A survey conducted at the end of 2019 by SERMO - which fielded responses from surgeons in six countries across the world, UK, US, Japan, Germany, Australia and Sweden. - has revealed the estimated proportions of a real emergency: over 95% of surgeons have either been personally affected by such an injury or have seen a colleague experience one.
Needlestick and sharps injuries are among the main professional risks and can radically alter the personal and daily lives of surgeons or their clinical teams. Each and every day in hospitals around the world clinicians, nurses and support staff expose themselves to the risk of blood-borne viruses in the operating theatre and other clinical settings.
Hepatitis B, C and D, and HIV are just some of the dangers they and their teams face in the daily undertaking of their clinical responsibilities. The effects of percutaneos injuries can put an end to a clinician’s career in an instant or generate a shattering impact on their work and the safety of their clinical team.
Risks in the operating theatre are of course not limited to healthcare professionals. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are the most frequent adverse event in healthcare delivery worldwide, causing millions of deaths globally and incurring significant financial strains on healthcare systems.
Over three million needlestick injuries occur among health workers each year. A medical and social emergency which also has disastrous economic effects - estimated in more than 500 euro millions every year, only in Europe - for injury compensations and production losses.
This all shows just how vital improving infections prevention is, but also demonstrates how the provision of high-quality surgical equipment and innovative needle-free injection system can play a decisive role in reducing the risks, in terms of surgical safety, patient outcomes and driving value in healthcare systems.