All Points Medical Waste Blog

Needlestick Injuries: Prevention & Response

Steps to Take in Your Healthcare Facility

Professionals who work in the healthcare industry face many challenges in their daily work; the risk of a needlestick injury is a common one. Understanding the risks and knowing what to do in the event of an accidental stick is vital. Take a look:

When do Needlestick Injuries Happen?

Although it may seem that only those workers administering injections or taking blood are at risk for needlestick accidents, the reality is that these types of incidents happen at many different stages of sharps use. According to the CDC, accidental sticks and punctures happen during the following steps: 

22% of accidents happen after the sharps was disposed of: This includes during disposal, after disposal or when the item was improperly disposed of.

19% of accidents happen after use, but before disposal: This includes during the process of recapping the needle and during clean up.

52% of accidents happen during use: This includes during insertion or removal of the needle, accessing an IV line, during transfer or processing a specimen and accidental collision with a coworker.

Why are Needlestick Injuries Dangerous?

Besides the obvious breaking of the skin, needlesticks can transmit infectious diseases, viruses and bacteria that can cause illness, injury or even death. It’s imperative that employers and all staff know and understand the risks, how to prevent accidents and what to do when an incident occurs.

Steps to Take to Prevent Needlestick Injuries

Healthcare facilities must implement protocols to prevent injuries.

  • Employee training
  • Use proper equipment
  • Store/dispose of needles in approved container
  • Ensure regular pickups of used sharps
  • Follow all OSHA guidelines

What to do When an Accident Occurs

When a needlestick injury occurs, take the following steps as soon as possible:

  • Wash needlestick/cut with soap and water
  • Flush mouth, nose and skin with water
  • Irrigate eyes with clean water, saline or a sterile irrigant
  • Report the incident to your supervisor
  • Immediately seek medical attention 

All Points Medical Waste can help you prevent needlestick injuries in your workplace by providing full service medical waste disposal. We supply the approved sharps and other medical waste containers and a regular pickup schedule. In addition, we provide compliance training for your staff. Located in Stuart, Florida, we are a family-owned and operated company that serves Florida including the Treasure Coast and all the way from Broward County to Okeechobee County. Give us a call today or complete the form on this page to get a quick quote.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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