Background: Accidental exposure to blood and body fluids is frequent among health care workers. They are at high risk of nosocomial transmission of blood borne pathogens due to injuries caused by used sharps. We are reporting impact of surveillance and educational program on the rate of needle stick injuries among health care workers at a tertiary care hospital in Pakistan.
Methods: At Aga Khan University Hospital sharp injuries are reported to infection control office. To reduce these incidents a quality improvement project was inducted in the year 2005. Health care workers were educated; surveillance data from 2002 to 2007 was analyzed and compared with various risk factors.
Results: During study period 1382 incidents were reported. Junior doctors sustained highest number of injuries (n = 394; 28.5%) followed by registered nurses (n = 283; 20.4%). Highest number of incidents was reported during blood collection (19%). An increasing trend was observed in the pre intervention years (2002-04). However noticeable fall was noted in the post intervention period that is in year 2006 and 2007. Major decline was noted among nurses (from 13 to 5 NSI/100 FTE/year). By relating and comparing the rates with various activities directly linked with the use of syringes a significant reduction in incidents were found including; hospital admissions (p-value 0.01), surgeries and procedures performed (p = 0.01), specimens collected in the laboratory (p = 0.001) and patients visits in clinics (p = 0.01).
Conclusion: We report significant reduction in needle stick injuries especially during post intervention study period. This is being achieved by constant emphasis on improving awareness by regular educational sessions, implemented as a quality improvement project.