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Slide 36


    Title: Reduction in Needlestick Injuries
    Type: Text and Picture Slide
    • Blunt suture needles = 86%
    • Safer phlebotomy needles = 27% to 76%

    Source: MMWR, 1997

    Speaker Notes:

    Two new studies indicate that the use of safer needle designs can reduce the risk of needlestick injuries among health care workers. The two studies were conducted by the CDC, in collaboration with eight hospitals across the U.S. (MMWR, 1997).

    The first study showed that blunt suture needles may reduce the likelihood of a needlestick during surgery by as much as 86%. The second study found that safer needles for drawing blood may reduce needlesticks to health care workers by 27% to 76%.
    The investigations also found that the use of safer needles did not lessen the quality of patient care, and that the safer needles were generally accepted by health care workers.

    Some devices, however, have not been well-accepted in the clinical setting or have not been associated with a significant decrease in injury rate. These results may be explained by lack of training, lack of support for change in the clinical setting (Chiarello, 1992), or by inadequate design of the device.

    While all major medical device manufacturers market devices with safety features, no standard criteria exist for evaluating the safety claims of these features. Employers implementing needlestick prevention programs should evaluate the effectiveness of various devices in their specific setting.