Role of safety-engineered devices in preventing needlestick injuries in 32 French hospitals

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2007 Jan;28(1):18-23. doi: 10.1086/510814. Epub 2006 Dec 18.


Objectives: To evaluate safety-engineered devices (SEDs) with respect to their effectiveness in preventing needlestick injuries (NSIs) in healthcare settings and their importance among other preventive measures.

Design: Multicenter prospective survey with a 1-year follow-up period during which all incident NSIs and their circumstances were reported. Data were prospectively collected during a 12-month period from April 1999 through March 2000. The procedures for which the risk of NSI was high were also reported 1 week per quarter to estimate procedure-specific NSI rates. Device types were documented. Because SEDs were not in use when a similar survey was conducted in 1990, their impact was also evaluated by comparing findings from the recent and previous surveys.

Setting: A total of 102 medical units from 32 hospitals in France.

Participants: A total of 1,506 nurses in medical or intensive care units.

Results: A total of 110 NSIs occurring during at-risk procedures performed by nurses were documented. According to data from the 2000 survey, use of SEDs during phlebotomy procedures was associated with a 74% lower risk (P<.01). The mean NSI rate for all relevant nursing procedures was estimated to be 4.72 cases per 100,000 procedures, for a 75% decrease since 1990 (P<.01); however, the decrease in NSI rates varied considerably according to procedure type. Between 1990 and 2000, decreases in the NSI rates for each procedure were strongly correlated with increases in the frequency of SED use (r=0.88; P<.02).

Conclusion: In this French hospital network, the use of SEDs was associated with a significantly lower NSI rate and was probably the most important preventive factor.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Equipment Design
  • France / epidemiology
  • Hospitals* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Needlestick Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Needlestick Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital* / statistics & numerical data
  • Occupational Health
  • Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Management
  • Surveys and Questionnaires