Sharps injuries among medical students

Ourania Varsou*, John S Lemon, Finlay D Dick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Medical students may be at risk of sharps injuries for several reasons. These exposures can transmit a range of blood-borne pathogens including hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus.

Aims To evaluate medical students' knowledge regarding the prevention and management of sharps injuries and their experience of such exposures in the calendar year 2007.

Methods A cross-sectional, web-based, survey of fourth and fifth year medical students enrolled at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. All students were at the mid-point of their year of study. An invitation e-mail and two electronic reminders were sent, on specified days, to the study population. These contained a summary of the study and the link to the anonymous questionnaire.

Results Of the 395 medical students e-mailed, 238 (60%) responded. When compared with fourth year medical students, final year students had higher mean knowledge scores for sharps injury management (P <0.01). Of total, 18% reported resheathing used needles and 31% reported disposing of sharps for others, indicating poor compliance with standard precautions. In the event of an injury, 29% stated that they would scrub the wound. Only 44% were familiar with policies for reporting exposures. In all, 11% of students had experienced at least one contaminated sharps injury in 2007 and, of those, 40% had reported the most recent incident.

Conclusions Medical students are at risk of sharps injuries and their knowledge regarding the prevention and management of these exposures is limited: training on these issues should be increased.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-511
Number of pages3
JournalOccupational Medicine
Volume59
Issue number7
Early online date18 Aug 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

Fingerprint

Needlestick Injuries
Medical Students
Students
Blood-Borne Pathogens
Wounds and Injuries
Scotland
Hepatitis C
Hepatitis B
Needles
HIV
Population

Keywords

  • medical students
  • needlestick injuries
  • occupational exposures
  • sharps injuries
  • stick

Cite this

Varsou, O., Lemon, J. S., & Dick, F. D. (2009). Sharps injuries among medical students. Occupational Medicine, 59(7), 509-511. https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqp103

Sharps injuries among medical students. / Varsou, Ourania; Lemon, John S; Dick, Finlay D.

In: Occupational Medicine, Vol. 59, No. 7, 10.2009, p. 509-511.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Varsou, O, Lemon, JS & Dick, FD 2009, 'Sharps injuries among medical students', Occupational Medicine, vol. 59, no. 7, pp. 509-511. https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqp103
Varsou, Ourania ; Lemon, John S ; Dick, Finlay D. / Sharps injuries among medical students. In: Occupational Medicine. 2009 ; Vol. 59, No. 7. pp. 509-511.
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abstract = "Background Medical students may be at risk of sharps injuries for several reasons. These exposures can transmit a range of blood-borne pathogens including hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus.Aims To evaluate medical students' knowledge regarding the prevention and management of sharps injuries and their experience of such exposures in the calendar year 2007.Methods A cross-sectional, web-based, survey of fourth and fifth year medical students enrolled at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. All students were at the mid-point of their year of study. An invitation e-mail and two electronic reminders were sent, on specified days, to the study population. These contained a summary of the study and the link to the anonymous questionnaire.Results Of the 395 medical students e-mailed, 238 (60{\%}) responded. When compared with fourth year medical students, final year students had higher mean knowledge scores for sharps injury management (P <0.01). Of total, 18{\%} reported resheathing used needles and 31{\%} reported disposing of sharps for others, indicating poor compliance with standard precautions. In the event of an injury, 29{\%} stated that they would scrub the wound. Only 44{\%} were familiar with policies for reporting exposures. In all, 11{\%} of students had experienced at least one contaminated sharps injury in 2007 and, of those, 40{\%} had reported the most recent incident.Conclusions Medical students are at risk of sharps injuries and their knowledge regarding the prevention and management of these exposures is limited: training on these issues should be increased.",
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N2 - Background Medical students may be at risk of sharps injuries for several reasons. These exposures can transmit a range of blood-borne pathogens including hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus.Aims To evaluate medical students' knowledge regarding the prevention and management of sharps injuries and their experience of such exposures in the calendar year 2007.Methods A cross-sectional, web-based, survey of fourth and fifth year medical students enrolled at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. All students were at the mid-point of their year of study. An invitation e-mail and two electronic reminders were sent, on specified days, to the study population. These contained a summary of the study and the link to the anonymous questionnaire.Results Of the 395 medical students e-mailed, 238 (60%) responded. When compared with fourth year medical students, final year students had higher mean knowledge scores for sharps injury management (P <0.01). Of total, 18% reported resheathing used needles and 31% reported disposing of sharps for others, indicating poor compliance with standard precautions. In the event of an injury, 29% stated that they would scrub the wound. Only 44% were familiar with policies for reporting exposures. In all, 11% of students had experienced at least one contaminated sharps injury in 2007 and, of those, 40% had reported the most recent incident.Conclusions Medical students are at risk of sharps injuries and their knowledge regarding the prevention and management of these exposures is limited: training on these issues should be increased.

AB - Background Medical students may be at risk of sharps injuries for several reasons. These exposures can transmit a range of blood-borne pathogens including hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus.Aims To evaluate medical students' knowledge regarding the prevention and management of sharps injuries and their experience of such exposures in the calendar year 2007.Methods A cross-sectional, web-based, survey of fourth and fifth year medical students enrolled at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. All students were at the mid-point of their year of study. An invitation e-mail and two electronic reminders were sent, on specified days, to the study population. These contained a summary of the study and the link to the anonymous questionnaire.Results Of the 395 medical students e-mailed, 238 (60%) responded. When compared with fourth year medical students, final year students had higher mean knowledge scores for sharps injury management (P <0.01). Of total, 18% reported resheathing used needles and 31% reported disposing of sharps for others, indicating poor compliance with standard precautions. In the event of an injury, 29% stated that they would scrub the wound. Only 44% were familiar with policies for reporting exposures. In all, 11% of students had experienced at least one contaminated sharps injury in 2007 and, of those, 40% had reported the most recent incident.Conclusions Medical students are at risk of sharps injuries and their knowledge regarding the prevention and management of these exposures is limited: training on these issues should be increased.

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KW - needlestick injuries

KW - occupational exposures

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