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How common are accidental needle sticks for medical workers?

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Working in a medical facility comes with numerous risks. Some of the most common injuries that people suffer in hospitals relate to falls or to overworking their bodies while providing patient care. However, the dangerous equipment that medical professionals need to handle can also be a risk.

Syringes and needles are important for the delivery of medicine, but they can also put a hospital worker at risk. There are special protocols for handling sharp tools like syringes and also special disposal boxes to reduce the risk of someone accidentally poking themselves with a used needle or syringe.

Someone who breaks their skin with a tool that was previously used on a patient could potentially develop a blood-borne illness. How often do accidental needle sticks occur in the United States?

There are hundreds of thousands of accidental needle sticks each year

According to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 385,000 health care workers suffer an accidental needle stick every year — either through a mistake or an accident. Most of these individuals will suffer no medical consequences.

However, some people may become ill as a result of their exposure to pathogens because of an accidental needle stick. Those who do develop illnesses, which can range from hepatitis to HIV/AIDS, may need workers’ compensation to cover their medical costs and any lost wages if they need to take time off of work. Identifying risk factors for a workplace injury can help you stay safer on the job or assert your rights to compensation if you do suffer an injury.