Together.
Reducing Needlestick Injuries 

A recent study published by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) reported a disturbing rise in the number of blood and bodily fluid exposure (BBFE) incidences, including sharps injuries, among RCN Members in the UK in 2020, highlighting another way that the pandemic has put increased strain on healthcare workers. 

  • 15% of respondents had suffered a sharps injury in 2020, which is a significant increase from 2008, the last year this survey was conducted. 
  • 3% of those surveyed received multiple sharps injury in the last year.
  • 25% pointed to lack of safety equipment being readily available 
  • 38% of respondents had not received training on all the safety engineered devices (SEDs) they use.

 

Serving healthcare for over 30 years, we are very cognizant that an issue as big as this is not solved by putting forward a single remedy in isolation. A sharps container, no matter how safe, cannot eliminate the issue of needlestick injuries single handedly; albeit vital, it is a single piece of a much bigger strategy. Industry reporting of NI, sharps container placement, staff training, SED use and other preventative strategies all form part of the collective need of safeguarding healthcare workers from sharps injuries.

"My injury didn't occur because I was careless or distracted or not paying attention to what I was doing. This injury and the life-threatening consequences I am now suffering should not have happened."

Karen Daley  - former president of the American Nurses Association 

 

Karen Daley's story is sadly not a "needle in a haystack" occurance; her story is felt by healthcare practitioners around the globe. Eliminating sharps injuries relies on many factors – safer devices, safer sharps containers, leadership focus and safety process adoption. However overall, as an industry and as a group of people committed to improving safety for healthcare workers, it requires a collaborative effort ensure that everyone; healthcare practitioners, portering staff and patients, get home safely at the end of the day. To support our healthcare partners in the execution of their needlestick injury aversion strategies, we have put together this library of resources to help support in driving much needed awareness and training around the safe handling of sharps. 

 

 

The Human Cost


There is no “convenient time” for a sharps injury to occur and, especially within the OR, many practitioners report a certain stigmatism against reporting a stick. 

"My injury didn't occur because I was careless or distracted or not paying attention to what I was doing. This injury and the life-threatening consequences I am now suffering should not have happened. And worst of all, this injury would not have happened if a safer sharps container had been in place in my work setting."

Karen Daley  - former president of the American Nurses Association 

After interviewing clinicians from “Exposure Aware” hospitals, researchers established four common themes found in successfully limiting exposures:

EDUCATION AND TRAINING 

Orientations, annual refreshers, modules, coaching

COMMUNICATION

Campaigns, talking to Administration, daily huddles

INVESTIGATION 

Counseling on how/why incidents happen, detailed description of use, staff meetings, prevention strategies

ENGAGEMENT 

Monthly reports, commitment to rules, manager participation, leadership accountability

How to Prevent Sharps Injuries


Sharps Containers.
Role in Injury Reduction   


Daniels Sharpsmart, the world’s leading sharps disposal safety system, was the result of 5 years of R&D, clinical research and passion of our founder, Dan Daniels, to eliminate needlestick injuries.


There is no sharps container in the United States today that rivals the Sharpsmart’s safety features, its clinical peer reviewed studies that prove needlestick injury reduction across years of research, or its global before-and-after safety and sustainability results. For 20 years, the Daniels Sharpsmart container has led the industry.    
 

"By converting to a Daniels Sharpsmart Container, 
Container Related Needlestick Injuries were reduced by 86.6%"

Peer Reviewed Study published in the American Journal of Infection Control 

Essentials for selecting a Safe Sharps Container

PRE-ASSEMBLED 

Sharps containers should arrive pre-assembled, eliminating manual labor and sharps injury risk from incorrectly assembled containers. 

POINT OF CARE USE 

Sharps containers should be placed as close as possible to the point of sharps generation, with interchangeable mounting and movement capability 

RESTRICTED ACCESS 

A sharps container should be engineered with hand-restrictive access that prevents access to the disposed sharps. 

OVERFILL PROTECTION 

Overfill protection is a critical safety feature of a sharps container; a design that restricts ability to dispose of sharps beyond the containers' safe fill level.

INBUILT SECURITY LOCKS 

Once secured, a sharps container should not be able to be forced open. Permanent locks should secure sharps from tampering and misuse. 

PG2 CERTIFIED 

Sharps containers should be certified to United Nations PG2 specifications for Transport of Dangerous Goods; securing sharps containers in transit. 

REUSABILITY 

Reusable sharps containers divert 33% of plastic from the sharps waste stream and have a significant impact on manufacturing, transport and supply chain emissions. 

QUALITY CONTROL 

To eliminate bacterial growth, reusable sharps containers should undergo a multi-step robotic sanitization process, and rigorous quality control inspection. 

Eliminate Container-Associated Sharps Injuries

One of the easiest preventative strategies for sharps exposures is selecting a sharps container with inbuilt safety features.

EXPLORE THE SHARPSMART

The Sharpsmart leads the industry in Safety.

The only sharps container in the world ISO 23907 certified and classified as a Safety-Engineered-Device, the Sharpsmart is designed with:

  • Inbuilt tamperproof locking mechanisms
  • Hands-free use, no cross-contamination
  • Gravity-Activated tray for finer needles
  • Inbuilt Overfill protection
  • Hand-Restrictive Access