Needlestick injuries are those which occur through being unexpectedly pierced or cut by a sharp object, particularly needles and scalpel blades. However the term ‘needlestick injury’ can also include injuries from sharps such as glass and broken equipment.
This can happen to anyone, but those most at risk are people in frequent contact with medical waste and ‘sharps’, such as NHS workers, cleaners, and waste disposal operatives.
Aside from the initial pain and suffering caused by the injury, there is the added fear that the needle or sharp object may have been contaminated.
Suffering from a needlestick injury has many potential consequences. The most troubling is the exposure to blood-borne viruses and bacteria, leading to infection and serious illnesses. Most worrying is the risk of:
- Hepatitis B or C
- OTHER VIRAL, BACTERIAL, OR FUNGAL INFECTIONS