Anesthesia personnel are at risk for occupationally acquired blood-borne infections from human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis viruses, and others after percutaneous exposures to infected blood or body fluids. The risk is greater after an infected, blood-contaminated, percutaneous injury, especially from a hollow-bore blood-filled needle, than from other types of exposures. Few data are available on the specific occupational hazards to anesthesia personnel from needles and other sharp devices. Fifty-eight percutaneous injuries (PIs) from anesthesia personnel in nine hospitals were analyzed. Thirty-nine of 58 PIs were from contaminated devices (all needles), and 19 were from uncontaminated devices or of unknown contamination status. Forty-three percent of contaminated percutaneous injuries (CPI) were classified as moderate (some bleeding) or severe (deep injury with profuse bleeding), and most were to health-care workers' hands. Fifty-nine percent of CPI were potentially preventable. Eighty-seven percent of CPI were from hollow-bore needles, and 68% of these were potentially preventable. The largest categories of devices causing CPI were needle on syringe, intravenous (i.v.) or arterial catheter needle-stylet, suture needle, and standard hollow-bore needle for secondary i.v. infusion. Most CPI occurred between steps of a multistep procedure (8%), were recapping related (13%), or occurred at other times after use (41%). No CPI were reported from use of needlestick-prevention safety devices. The devices and mechanisms of injury identified in this study provide specific data that may lead to prevention strategies to reduce the risk of PI.