Background: Health care workers (HCWs) are exposed to blood borne pathogens, through job-related risk factors like sharps injuries (SIs). Sharps injuries can be prevented by safer devices and through education and training of universal precautions and safe work practices.
Objectives: The present study aims to examine the current situation of infection control at Cairo University Hospitals in Egypt, through studying SIs among health care workers and evaluating the preventive measures.
Subjects and methods: The first part of this study was cross-sectional in design. A self-administered Arabic questionnaire was designed for this study based on EPINet (Exposure Prevention Information Network) Needle Stick and Sharps injuries reporting Sheet. The second part of the study was an interventional design to evaluate the effectiveness of preventive measures which were introduced since the beginning of 2011.
Results: Forty percent of the participants (416/1036) reported at least one sharps injury in the preceding year (2010), of which more than 70% (293/416) experienced more than one injury. 88.9% (370/416, p < 0.001) of HCWs did not report their injury. Following intervention measures injury rates were significantly reduced from 36.9/100 person in 2010 in the intensive care units, to 12.4/100 person during 2011, (X2 = 21.419 and P value < 0.001).
Conclusion: There is a high occurrence of sharps injuries in Cairo University Hospitals. Implementation of safety devices and adequate training will lead to reduction of SIs among HCWs.