Needlestick Safety Still Concerns Healthcare Professionals

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BETHLEHEM, Pa.—Despite legislation and continued focus across the U.S. to improve sharps safety, needlestick injuries (NSIs) resulting in the exposure to infectious disease continue to be a major issue facing all healthcare professionals. Lynn Hadaway, M.Ed., RN, BC, CRNI, who has more than 35 years experience in infusion nursing and adult education, addressed this topic during a B. Braun Medical Inc. (B. Braun) showcase session held during the Association for Vascular Access (AVA) 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting in San Jose, Calif.

"While issues with mucocutaneous blood exposure are also a concern, complications from needlestick injuries remain a top threat to the healthcare community," said Hadaway. "It is clear that the U.S. has made significant improvements surrounding NSIs with the passing of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (NSPA) in 2000, but changes from the Act have not eliminated the problem. There is still work to be done and education of healthcare professional safety remains critical. The good news is there are products available to safeguard against NSIs."

Echoing Hadaway's statements are the findings of a 2011 Infusion Nursing Society member survey on IV catheter related risks conducted by B. Braun, which surveyed more than 750 clinicians, showing that there is still confusion among the medical community on the definition of active vs. passive safety devices and what safety devices are most effective in protecting against NSIs.

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