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Open Access Research article

Impact of infection control activities on the rate of needle stick injuries at a tertiary care hospital of Pakistan over a period of six years: an observational study

Afia Zafar1*, Faiza Habib1, Roshan Hadwani2, Muslima Ejaz1, Khurshid Khowaja2, Rozina Khowaja2 and Seema Irfan1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology and Microbiology, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan

2 Divisions of Nursing, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2009, 9:78  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-9-78

Published: 29 May 2009

Abstract

Background

Accidental exposure to blood and body fluids is frequent among health care workers. They are at high risk of nosocomial transmission of blood borne pathogens due to injuries caused by used sharps. We are reporting impact of surveillance and educational program on the rate of needle stick injuries among health care workers at a tertiary care hospital in Pakistan.

Methods

At Aga Khan University Hospital sharp injuries are reported to infection control office. To reduce these incidents a quality improvement project was inducted in the year 2005. Health care workers were educated; surveillance data from 2002 to 2007 was analyzed and compared with various risk factors.

Results

During study period 1382 incidents were reported. Junior doctors sustained highest number of injuries (n = 394; 28.5%) followed by registered nurses (n = 283; 20.4%). Highest number of incidents was reported during blood collection (19%). An increasing trend was observed in the pre intervention years (2002–04). However noticeable fall was noted in the post intervention period that is in year 2006 and 2007. Major decline was noted among nurses (from 13 to 5 NSI/100 FTE/year). By relating and comparing the rates with various activities directly linked with the use of syringes a significant reduction in incidents were found including; hospital admissions (p-value 0.01), surgeries and procedures performed (p = 0.01), specimens collected in the laboratory (p = 0.001) and patients visits in clinics (p = 0.01).

Conclusion

We report significant reduction in needle stick injuries especially during post intervention study period. This is being achieved by constant emphasis on improving awareness by regular educational sessions, implemented as a quality improvement project.