Sharp injuries and their determinants among health care workers at first-level care facilities in Sindh Province, Pakistan

Trop Med Int Health. 2010 Oct;15(10):1244-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2010.02610.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood-Borne Pathogens*
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Cross Infection / transmission
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Personnel* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional / prevention & control
  • Medical Staff / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Needlestick Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Pakistan / epidemiology
  • Perception
  • Personnel, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult