A survey of sharps injuries and occupational infections among healthcare workers in Shanghai

Jiabing Lin, Xiaodong Gao, Yangwen Cui, Wei Sun, Yan Shen, Qingfeng Shi, Xiang Chen, Bijie Hu


Background: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at greater risk of occupational exposure to sharp injuries in their daily routine work, which is extremely worrying due to the potential risk of transmitting bloodborne pathogens. This study aims to assess what procedures and factors present the greatest risk of sharp injuries to HCWs in Shanghai and to provide an evidence base for improving measures to reduce sharps injuries.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was administered to all HCW who might be exposed to sharp instruments in 81 hospitals in Shanghai. According to the voluntary, investigate as many HCWs as possible and get feedbacks N=61,309. The survey addressed the sharp injury (SI) incidents, SIs of common instruments, SIs of common locations, SIs of operating procedures, SIs of common instruments and common sources of SI occurrences. Statistical analysis was performed using the SPSS program.
Results: A total of 61,309 HCWs were surveyed for this study, and 935 (1.53%) HCWs experienced the various types of sharp injuries in one month. Of the 1,140 sharp injuries, 292 (25.61%) sharp injuries were reported, and 815 (71.49%) sharp injuries were traced to their sources. Interns experienced the highest proportion of sharps injuries (4.12%). General wards were the most common location where sharp injuries occurred to HCWs (36.05%), while disposable syringes were the most common medical devices that caused sharp injuries (32.11%). Nurses, doctors and logistical workers who did not receive relevant training had a higher incidence of SI (4.40%, 4.95% and 4.03%, respectively) than those who received training (1.58%, 1.03% and 0.67%, respectively, P<0.001). HBV infection was the main source of exposure to sharp injuries, with scalpel cuts being the most common related occurrence.
Conclusions: Sharp injuries occur among HCWs in Shanghai dented optimism. There are multiple high- risk factors for SI and exposure to blood-borne pathogens in their work such as interns, general wards, disposable syringes, and lack of relevant training. HBV infection was the main source of exposure to sharp injuries. As such, medical institutions shall pay closer attention to this topic.