Attorneys Robert, David and James Cody

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Serious complications can result from needlestick injuries

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | Work Injuries |

Needlestick and sharps injuries are more than just momentary discomforts. These injuries can also lead to serious complications with lasting effects.

Understanding the risks associated with these injuries is necessary for health care workers and others who may come in contact with sharp objects at work.

Immediate risks

When a needle or sharp object penetrates the skin, it can introduce bacteria, viruses or other pathogens into the body. This increases the risk of infections such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. The severity of these infections can vary. However, all pose significant health threats. In addition to infections, needlestick injuries can cause bleeding and nerve damage. They can also damage underlying tissues, depending on the depth and location of the injury.

Long-term consequences

Even if an immediate infection is not apparent, needlestick injuries can have long-term consequences. Chronic diseases such as hepatitis B and C can lead to liver damage. They can also increase the risk of liver cancer. HIV infection, without treatment, can progress to AIDS, a condition that severely compromises the immune system. The psychological impact of experiencing a needlestick injury can also be significant, leading to anxiety, stress and fear of future exposures.

Prevention measures

Proper training on safe handling techniques and safety-engineered devices can reduce the risk of needlestick and sharps injuries. The use of personal protective equipment, such as gloves and safety goggles, can provide an additional layer of protection.

By prioritizing prevention measures and adhering to safety protocols, health care workers can mitigate the risks of sharps injuries and safeguard their health and well-being.