Title: Attitude, reporting behavior and practice of occupational needle stick injuries among hospital healthcare workers in Kashmir: a cross-sectional study
Authors: Dr Rabbanie Tariq Wani, Dr Sheikh Sahila Nabi, Dr Hibba Dar, Dr Umar Nazir
Health care workers are exposed variety of threats while performing their duties. This occupational exposure to blood increases the risk for acquiring blood-borne infections. The attribution of risk depends on the burden of patients with that infection in the health facility and the precautions the health care workers observe while dealing these patients. The burden of occupational diseases keeps on increasing and turning to be a life-threatening behavior if not dealt meticulously. There are a number of blood-borne infections, and out of them some are of prime importance to health care workers viz., hepatitis infection due to either the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or HCV (hepatitis C virus) and AIDS-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome due to HIV- human immunodeficiency virus. Needle stick and sharps injuries are one of the most critical occupational risk among health care workers (HCWs), which is extremely worrying due to the potential risk of transmitting blood borne pathogens (BBPs)(1)
Worldwide, around 40% of HCWs suffer from hepatitis B and C virus infection and 2.5% are affected by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) caused by NSIs(2). The prevalence of Needle Stick Injuries in the Iranian HCWs was 42.5% with a Confidence Interval of (95% CI 37–48). The prevalence of Needle Stick Injuries was 32 (20.9%) and majority of it occurred during assisting in operation theatre in a tertiary care hospital in Malaysia(3). The prevalence of HBsAg in healthy blood donors in Kashmir12.7%(4). Seroprevalence studies suggest that the overall anti-HCV positivity is about 0.8% (4).The prevalence of HIV seropositivity in the screened population was found to be 0.009% Kashmir(5) These figures suggest that a significant population are at potential risk for transmission of blood-borne diseases to health care staff like doctors, laboratory technicians, nurses, blood bank workers, technicians working in renal dialysis and transplant units, and other allied professionals. The aim of our study was to assess the knowledge and attitude among health care workers on needle stick injuries.