Oct 14

Good News for Clinical Experienced and also Phlebotomists: Safety-engineered Devices Reduce Needlestick Injuries

Released: October 14 2009

Medical center studies consistently show safety-engineered devices decrease needlestick injuries

Plebotomists and also safety managers in clinical laboratories across the nation will welcome the results of several studies on phlebotomy needlestick injuries. Evidence is acquiring that use involving safety-engineered devices (SED) plays a role in fewer reports involving accidental needle stays.

Some experts consider this to be one more sort of how concentrated, concerted attention to a problem in medical laboratory safety standards can encourage innovative options. Several hospital studies show a significant decrease in phlebotomy needlestick injuries (NSI). These studies tracked needlestick injuries following passage of legislation in 2000 and the requirement of safety-engineered products (SEDs).

Because all clinical laboratory managers know, phlebotomy processes not only affect individual satisfaction, they carry risk for needlestick injuries. In a study of 90 facilities through 1993 through 2001, the International Healthcare Worker Safety Centre hsc. virginia. edu/epinet/ discovered 94% of NSIs involved blood-filled needles, according to an article in Healthcare Laboratory Observer ( MLO ). This scenario presents the greatest risk of bloodborne pathogen transmitting.

This particular prevalence of NSIs brought the Occupational Safety and also Health Administration (OSHA) to create its Bloodborne Microorganisms Standard in the earlier 1990s. It also was one of the reasons for this why Congress voted to enact the particular Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (the Act) in 2000. The Act mandated the use of SEDs.

An additional study of workers in 87 hospitals showed an impressive 59. 9% decrease in phlebotomy needlestick injuries following the passage from the Act. The study compared data through 1993 through 2000 against data from 2001 via 2004.

The most significant a result of the Act, stated one more MLO article, is that it led to a 34% decrease in accidental needlesticks in the United States. It also contributed to a 60% decrease in needle exposures during phlebotomy processes.

Following passage from the Needlestick Prevention and also Safety Act in 2000, increased utilization of safety-engineered devices through phlebotomists and other health care workers has measurably reduce the number of needlestick injuries. It is a positive improvement for the nation’s clinical laboratories, because it means fewer injuries on the job and also happier phlebotomists and patients.

Phlebotomy processes are recognized to end up being high risk regarding NSIs. Because of this, choice of appropriate safety-engineered products is a critical element, based on the MLO article. Utilization of SEDs due to the Act has significantly reduced these types of traumatic—and possibly costly—injuries.

Several SED Technologies Have Advantages/Disadvantages

SEDs can be “passive” or “active, ” based on the way for activating the safety feature, the particular MLO article explained. The safety feature involving “passive” SEDs activates immediately during utilize. “Active” SEDs, however, include post-extraction user-activated safety features. In a third technologies, the safety function may be included in the holder to which the SED is attached for the bloodstream draw.

A disadvantage of the guide shielding safety gadget, the particular MLO article stated, is the safety function can only be triggered after fully withdrawing the particular needle. Semi-automatic SEDs can activate while the needle remains in the problematic vein. According to the article, a recent study showed these in-vein activation products reduced NSIs through 88%, with zero incidents within the last 21 weeks of the study.

A 61-hospital French study through 2005 through 2006, showed a link between lower incidence rates of NSIs with the utilization of passive safety products. The study, which examined self-retracting lancets regarding capillary blood collection, showed that this lowest incidence involving NSI was linked to the utilization of passive SED technologies. The study failed to evaluate passive venous SEDs.

Passive SEDs do have drawbacks, however , the content noted. They may offer less manage to the user compared to active devices. Depending on the situations, the particular manually-activated SEDs may offer advantages to the phlebotomist. Attaining optimal venous access may need the opportunity to manipulate the unit. This could be impeded in case of premature activation of a passive safety device, which could require a second stick. In this situation, the particular active SED could be preferable, the content stated.

Regarding SED Users Is Critical in Product Selection

In their observations, the particular MLO content stressed two factors: (1) no safety device is suitable in every situations, and also (2) the significance of involving the healthcare workers who use the SEDs when choosing the appropriate gadget for a given clinical setting. Actually according to MLO , OSHA which frontline workers end up being engaged in a review and assessment of available safety products.

Providers should select SED items based on clinical environment and procedure intricacy, the particular MLO suggested. In order to satisfy the demand for items to cover multiple situations, vendors are developing portfolios of mixed passive and also semi-automatic SEDs.

The larger costs involving SEDs may bias suppliers toward conventional products, the article noted. Adoption involving SEDs in non-hospital environments, such as clinics, private physicians’ offices, and long-term treatment facilities, lags behind that of hospitals.

The devastating toll involving NSIs on healthcare employees and their families should be factored into decisions regarding the purchase of SED items, the article advised. The price of even 1 NSI incident will usually include extra staffing expenses, as well as OSHA penalties and potential labor marriage action and lawsuit.

The good news is that, since passage from the Needlestick Safety and also Prevention Act (NSPA) in 2000, the amount of needlestick injuries is falling. Utilization of safety-engineered products, despite their additional cost, is adding to this improvement within the safety involving phlebotomists and patients.

Moving forward, clinical lab managers and pathologists may want to access a few of these studies to incorporate into phlebotomy exercising programs and professional education and learning. Additionally it is important for medical laboratories and also hospitals to include personnel involvement in device selection, evaluation and associated training. These are all important procedure for insure that this laboratory organization is in compliance along with OSHA and other appropriate regulations.

—Pamela Scherer McLeod

Related Info :

System.Drawing.Bitmap needlestick injuries: active or passive safety?

Needlestick data drop as passive safety device use rises

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