Accidental needlesticks are one of the most
under-reported injuries in the healthcare industry. While the chance of a
bloodborne illness being transmitted after an accidental needlestick is
relatively low, healthcare professionals should still prioritize educating
employees on what to do in the event that an accident occurs as well as how
they can maintain proper and safe medical waste disposal in Montgomery County.
If you, a coworker, or an employee suffers an accidental needlestick, follow
- Clean the wound. Immediatelyfollowing an accidental stick, clean
the wound with soap and water.
- Locate the source of the stick. After cleaning
the wound, locate the source of the needlestick. Do not dispose of the needle
after an accident until it has been tested.
- Test the source for bloodborne illnesses. If
possible, test the sharp end of the needle for bloodborne illnesses, including
HIV and hepatitis B and C.
- Administer PEP if needed. If the source of the
injury has been determined to contain a risk of HIV transmission, have the
employee begin post-exposure prophylaxis (or “PEP”) treatments as soon as
possible. PEP is a four-week emergency treatment course that can significantly
reduce the risk of HIV-transmission if administered within 24 hours of exposure
to the virus.
- Educate the worker. After immediate steps have
been taken to protect the employee’s health, determine why the accident
occurred. Was the needle left out instead of being placed in an OSHA-approved
sharps container? Was the employee mishandling the needle? Educate the employee
on proper sharps usage and disposal following the accident to prevent future
Using OSHA-approved sharps containers like
those available from Choice MedWaste can significantly reduce the risks
associated with accidental needlesticks. If you’d like to learn more about what
you can do to help prevent needlestick injuries or you’re interested in
scheduling an appointment for medical or pharmaceutical waste management in Montgomery County,
give Choice MedWaste a call today at 302-262-8261.