Some Quick Statistics on Sharps Injuries
Here are some quick stats regarding sharps injuries in the healthcare industry – hospitals, clinics, and facilities.
- Scalpel cuts are the second most common injury in the operating theatres, accounting for 7% of the total number of reported injuries.
- Risks from the scalpel cuts have been documented including infection by HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, physical trauma, psychological trauma.
- The cost of an uncomplicated injury has been estimated from US$500 to US$2,000 and from US$50,000 to US$100,000 for an injury requiring microsurgery up to 3 months of recovery.
- The highest cost that has been reported was US$12.2 million to pay for a doctor who contracted HIV from a sharp injury.
- World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that among healthcare workers worldwide, approximately 3 million experienced percutaneous injuries each year and out of those injured 70,000, 15,000, and 500 respectively were likely to be infected with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV virus.
1.World Health Organization (2002). Reducing Risks, Promoting Healthy Life. The World Health Report. Geneva: WHO. 2. Panlilio, A., Orelien, J., Srivastava, P., Jagger, J., Cohn, R. and Cardo, D. (2004). Estimate of the Annual Number of Percutaneous Injuries Among Hospital-Based Healthcare Workers in the United States, 1997–1998. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 25(07), pp.556-562. 3. Yale to Pay $12.2 Million in Largest Ever Award in Needlestick Case. (1998). Advances in Exposure Prevention, (Vol 3, No. 3). 4. Rice, B., Tomkins, S. and Ncube, F. (2015). Sharp Truth: health care workers remain at risk of bloodborne infection. Occupational Medicine Advance Access. Oxford University Press. 5. Varghese, G. (2003). Post-exposure prophylaxis for blood borne viral infections in healthcare workers. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 79(932), pp.324-328.