RCN publishes survey into sharps injuries and mucocutaneous exposures in 2020
Sharps injuries (SI) and mucocutaneous exposures (MCE), collectively termed “blood and body fluid exposure” (BBFE), pose a diseases-transmission risk and a psychological stress to health care workers (HCW) and a responsibility on employers to prevent their occurrence.
The RCN said that “15% of respondents to a recent survey suffered a sharps injury in 2020. That’s 50% higher than when the survey was last carried out in 2008.” The report said that this increase in the rate of reported injuries between 2008 and 2020 is likely related to COVID-19 workloads, fatigue, and stress.
This result is borne out by the preliminary findings of a survey by Ipsos MORI, commissioned by the European Biosafety Network (EBN), covering more than 300,000 healthcare workers in 80 large public hospitals across Europe which shows that the number of sharps injuries has increased by 23% over the last year to March/April 2021: with 98% of respondents saying that the increase was a result of the increased pressure and stress due to COVID-19.
The full RCN report can be downloaded here.