Sharps Injuries in Podiatry
Podiatry, the study and treatment of conditions affecting the feet and lower legs, involves the use of sharp instruments, such as scalpels, needles, and forceps, which can pose a risk of injury to podiatrists and other healthcare workers. Sharp injuries in podiatry can have serious consequences, including infection, emotional distress, and potential legal and financial liabilities.
Sharp injuries can occur during routine procedures, such as wound care or nail surgery, or during more complex surgical procedures. For example, a podiatrist may accidentally may cut themselves with a scalpel during surgery or stick themselves with a needle while suturing a wound.
The consequences of sharp injuries in podiatry can be severe. Physically, sharp injuries can cause:
- deep wounds such as severed digital nerve and/or tendon
- increase the risk of blood-borne infection such as HBV, HCV, or even HIV
- and can lead to long-term health problems.
Emotionally, sharp injuries can cause significant distress and anxiety, leading to long-term psychological effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Financially, sharp injuries can result in increased insurance premiums, lawsuits, and decreased productivity due to time off work.
Where Do Scalpel Cuts Occur?
According to podiatrists, scalpel cuts occur most often when they are removing scalpel blades, whilst switching instruments, or during clean-up or resterilization.
How To Prevent Sharps Injuries in Podiatry.
To prevent sharp injuries in podiatry, it is essential to implement effective sharps safety measures. This can include using safety-engineered devices, such as the Qlicksmart BladeFLASK Scalpel Blade Remover, and providing education and training on safe sharps handling techniques. In addition, podiatry practices and hospitals should have policies and procedures in place to ensure that sharps are handled and disposed of properly and that employees are trained on these policies.
By using a single-handed scalpel blade remover such as the Qlicksmart BladeFLASK, up to 50% of scalpel cuts in podiatry clinics can be prevented.
Using the Qlicksmart BladeFLASK:
- Removes up to 100 used scalpel blades
- Automatic safety mechanism removes and contains your scalpel blades using only one hand
- Certified and medically approved sharps container
- Can be attached to a wall, bench, or trolley with the reusable Mounting Bracket
- Dispose as medical waste, following your clinic’s usual procedures
Sharp injuries are a serious concern in podiatry and can have severe consequences for podiatrists and other healthcare workers. By implementing effective sharps safety measures and providing education and training, podiatry practices and hospitals can create a safer and healthier work environment for their employees and improve patient safety. Additionally, by providing support for employees who have been affected by sharp injuries, these institutions and organizations can help to mitigate the personal and professional consequences of these injuries. To find out more on how to keep safe from scalpel cuts, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.