Survey of needle-stick injuries in paediatric health personnel of 5 University-Hospitals in Tehran
Objective: To study the prevalence and correlates of needle-stick injury in the health personnel of the Paediatric Department of five university-affiliated hospitals in Tehran, from April till June 2009. Methods: Cross-sectional questionnaire survey. Physicians undergoing paediatric training and nurses working in the paediatric departments filled up a pre-designed questionnaire. Relevant variables were compared between doctors and nurses. Results: Three-hundred fifty-five health personnel were enrolled. Of these 49.3% had incurred needle stick injury at least once, 36.7% doctors and 54.9% nurses (p=0.002). Nurses fared better than the doctors as regards knowledge about hazards of improper needle disposal. Correct answers from doctors and nurses respectively were: 45.6% vs. 59.3% about needle separation and 41.9% vs. 81.2% about recapping, (p=0.02 and <0.001). Doctors 11.1% and Nurses 37.7% believed injections to be better than oral medication for children, (p<0.001), however, 68.9% of doctors and 46.6% of nurses believed that parents preferred injections to oral medicines for their children, (p<0.001). Only 26.6% knew about auto-disable syringes. Vaccinated against Hepatitis B was present in 92.7%. Doctors 58.7% and 55.3% nurses knew HBV to be the most common needle transmitted infection, (p=0.56). Conclusion: Needle-stick injuries are common among Paediatric health care personnel and their knowledge about prevention strategies is suboptimal. Most, health personnel are immunized against Hepatitis B.