Summary objectives: To assess the rate and determinants of sharp injuries during the previous 6 months among health care workers at first-level care facilities in two districts of Pakistan.
Methods: Cross-sectional survey at public, general practitioners and non-licensed private practitioners selected through stratified random sampling. At each facility, we interviewed a prescriber and a dispenser/injection provider about knowledge of bloodborne pathogens transmission and preventive practices, risk perception, and use of precautions and sharp injuries received during the previous 6 months. Multivariable Poisson regression was used to assess the factors associated with the number of sharp injuries.
Results: Fifty-four percentage of the 233 workers had at least one injury during the previous 6 months. The overall rate of sharp injuries per person per year was 3.7; among non-physician prescribers (9%), it was 4.3; among dispensers (69%), it was 3.7, and among physicians (18%), it was 2.1. In the multivariable model, work experience, risk perception and type of health care worker were significantly associated with receiving sharp injuries during the previous 6 months. In the model including dispensers only, a higher knowledge score was associated with fewer sharp injuries, while perceived severity of disease and lack of professional qualification were associated with more.
Conclusions: Sharp injuries are common in Pakistan. Better knowledge about modes of bloodborne pathogen transmission and professional qualification may reduce their incidence.
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.