Nearly one-third of nurses at King George's Medical University (KGMU) had suffered sharp injuries in the last year, a year-long study by the community medicine department which was published in the International Journal of Advanced Research (IJAR), has found.
The injuries took place as universal precautions before and after exposure were not being followed. Headed by Prof Reema Kumari, faculty at the community medicine department, the study recommended hospital administrators train and retrain nurses on safe injection practices and educate them about occupational hazards. As many as 85 staff nurses were selected from different departments on a random basis.
They were interviewed about getting injured from sharp objects during the treatment of a patient. It was found that 32. 9 percent (28) had an incident of sharp injury on the hand. In 70 percent (20) cases, they suffered injury from a needle followed by ampule/vial, 21. 4 percent (5), and IV cannula.
It was also found that in 43 percent (12) of cases, the sharp item causing the injury was contaminated by the body fluid of a patient. Of all 28 cases of sharp injury, 39 percent (11) applied antiseptic and 21 percent (6) washed the injury site with soap and applied antiseptic while the rest just washed with plain water. It was also revealed that 71 percent (61) and 86 percent (73) had received vaccination or administration for TT and hepatitis B vaccination respectively.
Prof Reema said that healthcare workers are at constant risk of exposure to injury with sharp items and thereby transmission of infections like HBV, HCV, and HIV. The finding suggests the need for training and retraining on safe injection practices, universal precautions, and education on safety.“Also, the administration should check pre-employment immunization status of tetanus and hepatitis B,” she said. (PB/NewsGram)