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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 34-36

Prevalence of, and attitude towards, needle-stick injuries by Nigerian gynaecological surgeons

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, National Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
E R Efetie
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, National Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19562918

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Health care workers who have occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials are at increased risk for acquiring blood-borne infections. The emotional impact of a needle-stick injury can be severe and long lasting, even when a serious infection is not transmitted. OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence and attitude towards needle-stick injuries by Nigerian gynaecological surgeons. METHODOLOGY: A cross-sectional study was conducted at the 40th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON) held in Ibadan, southwest Nigeria from the 23rd to the 26th of November 2005. Data was collected using a self-administered questionnaire. RESULTS: Seventy two questionnaires out ofa hundred administered were finally analysed. Sixty-five (90.3%) respondents had experienced needle-stick injuries in the workplace. This occurred in the majority of cases (86.2%) during suturing. Only 9.2% of those experiencing a needle-stick injury took the correct or appropriate action afterwards. Consultants were not significantly more likely than Residents to take appropriate actions after needle-stick injuries (p > 0.10, X2 = 2.11, 1 df). Fifty-two (80%) of those with needle-stick injuries did not report the incident to the appropriate office. Only 26 (37.1%) of 70 respondents indicated the presence of a needle-stick policy in their centres. Conclusion: The prevalence of needle-stick injuries among sampled Nigerian gynaecological surgeons is high. Majority are either unaware or do not take appropriate actions after exposure to hazardous body fluids from needle-stick injuries, either through first-aid steps or post-e4posure prophylaxis. All health institutions should have a working needle-stick policy in their centres, and health care workers continually educated on it.

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