For employees in the medical profession, it is no surprise to learn that there are between 600,000-800,000 needlestick injuries sustained each year in the United States alone.1 Not only are traditional medical personnel affected, but housekeeping, maintenance, students and administrative employees are also exposed to dangerous needlesticks.2
More than 1,000 individuals are accidently stuck each day in the United States and not only endure the pain of the physical injury, but are also potentially exposed to up to 20 different blood borne pathogens.3 In fact, the CDC estimates that after accidental needlestick injuries, as many as 30 percent of healthcare professionals will be infected with Hepatitis B, 1.8 percent with Hepatitis C and 0.3 percent will contract HIV.3
While the effects of needlestick injuries can be devastating both physically and psychologically, the fiscal implications take an immense toll as well. In 2004, after being stuck with a used needle, 49 percent of healthcare workers incurred medical treatment costs.3 Across the nation, needlestick injuries have created over $1 billion in preventable healthcare costs every year, based on laboratory fees for testing exposed employees, lost productivity associated with time away from the job testing and counseling, as well as the costs of follow-up examinations. Based on a Safe in Common study of U.S. healthcares statistics as well as CDC reports, that figure breaks down to $3,042 per needlestick.4
In an effort to curb these costs and unnecessary illness in the healthcare profession, the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act was signed into law in 2000 by Congress. The Act specified safety requirements for device evaluation and mandated guidelines for a sharps injury log. It also encouraged OSHA to revise its Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, originally established in 1992.5
Yet, despite these amendments and regulations, needlestick injuries continue to plague the healthcare community. It would seem that no level of governance will stifle the impact of accidental needlestick contamination. The only way to eliminate needlestick injuries is to eliminate the needle.
PharmaJet’s innovative needle-free technology now enables medical professionals to administer vaccines to patients without the fear of contracting bloodborne viruses. The PharmaJet Needle-Free Injector will save the healthcare industry countless dollars and, most importantly, will save lives.
It is time to stop the stick.
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- “Safer Needle Devices: Protecting Health Care Workers.” OSHA.gov. OSHA, n.d. Web.
- “Sharps Safety Workbook.” CDC.gov. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention,n.d. Web.
- “Cost of Needle Stick Injuries.” Leeject.com. LeEject Syringe & Needle, n.d. Web.
- “Needlestick Injuries Are Preventable Events.” Needlestick Injuries Are Preventable Events. Healthcare Risk Management Review, 09 May 2013. Web.
- “Frequently Asked Questions – Needlesticks.” OSHA.gov. OSHA, n.d. Web.