Needlestick and Sharp Injuries Incidents among Iranian Healthcare Workers: an Updated Survey in Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Health Management and Economics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran

2 Office of Vice-chancellor of Health, Department of Treatment, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Nursing, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Alborz, Iran

5 Department of Nursing, School of Medicine, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


Background and objectives: Needle stick and sharp injuries (NSIs) has remained as a persisting occupational hazard among the healthcare workers. This study aimed to provide updated information on the intensity and potential causes of the problem in Iran, by surveying a sample from major hospitals affiliated with Tehran University of Medical Sciences.   Methods: Of 3312 healthcare workers with the potential risk of exposure to the Needle stick and sharp injuries, 295 who had experienced NSIs during the period of the study (June 2012 to June 2013) were included to the study. The participants were asked to complete a specific form developed by the Infection Control Committee of University with their data of age, gender, level of education, marital status, occupation, work experience, work shift, description of needle stick and sharp injuries occurrence.Data were summarized and analyzed using descriptive statistical methods.   Findings: The reported incidence rate of needle stick and sharp injuries was determined to be 11.2%. The majority (39%) of incidents has been occurred in nurses followed by housekeeping workers (18.3%) and doctors (11.27%), respectively. While more than half of injuries have occurred in individuals of lower than 30 years old, the majority of cases (70.5%) had work experience of less than 5 years. In addition, most incidents had been occurred in the morning work shift (53%). Phlebotomy was found to the practice most frequently leading to injury incidents.   Conclusions: The low rate of NSIs suggests underreporting calling exploration of the causative factors. The fact that the majority of incidents have occurred in young and low-work-experience individuals requires specific focus on educating and improving awareness of this group with regarding safety issues.