Incidence and patterns of needlestick injuries during intermaxillary fixation

Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2011 Apr;49(3):221-4. doi: 10.1016/j.bjoms.2010.04.010. Epub 2010 May 21.


Intermaxillary fixation (IMF) carries an appreciable risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne viruses. Our aim was to establish the incidence and patterns of needlestick injuries during IMF at DAV Dental College. We surveyed 12 residents working in the Department of Maxillofacial Surgery for 1 year (December 2008 to December 2009) to find out how many injuries occurred during IMF. A total of 40 needlestick injuries were recorded during 172 IMF procedures (23%). Most injuries occurred in the maxillary left quadrant (n=16, 40%). Procedures done during the night had a much higher incidence (13/29, 45%) compared with 27/153 (18%) done during the day. Of the 40 injuries, 31 (78%) were recorded as superficial, the rest being deep. All injuries affected the non-working hand, and 39 (98%) were caused by a wire. Surgeons are at high risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne viruses from needlestick injuries during IMF. Detailed attention to the pattern of these injuries could help to develop improved strategies to minimise the incidence.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data*
  • Blood-Borne Pathogens
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional
  • Internship and Residency
  • Jaw Fixation Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Needlestick Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Needlestick Injuries / etiology
  • Night Care
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Risk
  • Surgery, Oral*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires