Thursday, July 06, 2006

New Study Indicates Needlestick Injuries Continue to Cause Significant Concern for Healthcare Workers

Note to readers: This survey was conducted by Arketi Group for Inviro Medical


New Study Indicates Needlestick Injuries Continue to Cause Significant Concern for Healthcare Workers; Current Safety Syringe Designs Leave Room for Improvement

ATLANTA -- Inviro Medical announces the findings of the 2006 Study of Needlestick Injuries and Safety Devices, an independent nationwide study of directors of infection control (DICs) and nurses. The findings reveal needlestick injuries (NSIs) affect the vast majority of nurses, and nearly half (47 percent) said they had been stuck by a contaminated needle. In addition, an overwhelming majority of DICs and nurses believe current safety syringe designs need improving.

The national study was comprised of two survey instruments. The first included responses from 147 DICs, and the second survey consisted of responses from 188 nurses. Results of the study can be downloaded at: www.inviromedical.com.

Nearly half of all nurses stuck by contaminated needle
The study showed the majority of U.S. nurses (64 percent) had been accidentally stuck by a needle while working; nearly half (47 percent) of all nurses surveyed reported being accidentally stuck by a contaminated needle.

Room for improvement in existing safety syringe design
When asked if there was room for improvement in the design of current safety syringes, an overwhelming majority of DICs and nurses said "yes" (97 percent and 96 percent respectively). Illustrating this belief, 70 percent of DICs and 65 percent of nurses felt that safety syringes with retrofitted designs, which today account for 95 percent of the market, were not the most effective design to protect clinicians. (Retrofitted safety syringes refer to non-safety syringe designs that have been modified with an added shield, sheath or cap to meet industry safety regulations).

"This research underscores the problems that exist with retro-fitted safety syringes, which in the absence of an acceptable custom designed safety syringe, have dominated the market until now," said Gareth Clarke, CEO of Inviro Medical, sponsor of the study and manufacturer of the InviroSNAP! Safety Syringe. "Clinicians are clearly seeking an alternative safety syringe that provides better protection and is easy to use."

Widespread concern about needlestick injuries
The study found the overwhelming majority of DICs and nurses worry about accidental NSIs. In fact, 82 percent of DICs believe NSIs remain a significant hazard, and even more nurses (88 percent) cite NSIs as a serious hazard.

"The findings of this study are a 'must-read' for those in the healthcare industry," said Mike Neumeier, principal of Arketi Group, the consulting firm that completed the study. "We believe this to be the first comprehensive survey of healthcare workers on this topic, since the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act became law in 2000."

Needlestick injuries believed to be underreported
The majority of DICs and nurses believe NSIs are underreported (63 percent and 86 percent respectively). However, the two groups differ on the reasons why. Forty-five percent of DICs said the main reason is because clinicians are too busy to report them; 27 percent said the follow-up time takes too long; 11 percent believe clinicians may be afraid of workplace consequences associated with reporting NSIs. Nurses, on the other hand, are more likely than DICs to cite a concern for workplace consequences (23 percent) as the reason they believe NSIs are underreported.

Annual evaluations of safety devices
The majority of DICs (74 percent) and nurses (57 percent) report their facility conducts yearly evaluations of safety syringes, as required by the Needlestick Act. Ninety-three percent of DICs surveyed said they were able to influence the selection of sharp safety devices used in their facility, and 95 percent think their frontline nurses are able to influence selection. In stark contrast, only 43 percent of the nurses report they are able to influence selection in their facility.
Infection control spending set to increase
When asked about spending, nearly two out of three DICs (63 percent) said they plan to increase spending on infection control in 2006. Of those who project an increase:

-- 25 percent plan to increase spending by 1 to 5 percent
-- 32 percent plan to increase spending by 6 to 10 percent
-- 25 percent plan to increase spending by 11 to 24 percent
-- 18 percent plan to increase spending by 25 percent or more

Avian flu, ebola, anthrax concern healthcare workers
Illustrating the concern over U.S. preparedness for bioterrorism and pandemic-related diseases, 83 percent of DICs said the United States is either unprepared or very unprepared for avian flu. Ebola was second with 72 percent; 61 percent felt the country is unprepared or very unprepared for the plague; 58 percent said smallpox; and 48 percent think the country is unprepared for anthrax. However, the majority of those surveyed (52 percent) said methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) caused them the most worry.

About the survey
Conducted in May, the 2006 U.S. Study of Needlestick Injuries and Safety Devices is based on an online, nationwide survey of U.S. directors of infection control and nurses.

Of the 147 DIC participants:

-- 35 percent have been a director of infection control for fewer than 5 years
-- 34 percent for 5 to 10 years
-- 11 percent for 11 to 15 years
-- 22 percent for more than 15 years

Of the 188 nurses surveyed:

-- 14 percent have been a nurse for fewer than 5 years
-- 23 percent have been nurses for 5 to 10 years
-- 12 percent have been nurses for 11 to 15 years
-- 51 percent have been nurses for more than 15 years

The research was conducted by Atlanta-based Arketi Group.

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