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What are contributing factors to sharps injuries?

You may find working in the health care industry to be a rewarding experience. Still, you should take care not to endanger your own health as you help doctors carry out medical procedures. Some medical workers suffer sharps injuries that result in serious illnesses.

A sharps injury is a puncture wound resulting from using a sharp medical object such as a scalpel or a needle. The danger of a sharps injury is that your body could ingest harmful pathogens or the blood of another patient into the wound. The CDC explains why sharps injuries may happen.

A stressful environment

Tending to a patient can put a lot of demand on you, particularly if you are assisting in a critical treatment such as surgery. Sometimes these treatments take a while and do not allow for breaks. Medical workplaces can help alleviate stress by hiring more workers, but sometimes a nurse ends up in an understaffed situation and must take on more duties.

The fast-paced nature of medical treatments, sometimes combined with understaffing, can increase the risk that workers will not handle sharp objects properly. This can result in a stab wound and possible infection.

Lack of proper safety

Health care employers should take steps to make sure their care workers handle medical equipment in a safe manner. For example, workers should not overfill needles in a disposal container. Nurses should also follow procedures in providing sharp objects to doctors. Identifying safe options such as using blunt tip sutures can also help avoid stab injuries.

Avoiding a sharp object injury could save you months of recovery from an infection. Still, if you should suffer a stab from a health care instrument, workers’ compensation might help you with medical expenses.