Majority of Dermatology Residents Have Experienced a Sharps Injury

Most respondents received formal sharps safety education; 70% had no hands-on safety training
Most respondents received formal sharps safety education; 70% had no hands-on safety training

HealthDay News — Seventy-six percent of dermatology residents experience a sharps injury, according to a letter to the editor published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Vinod E. Nambudiri, MD, from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted an anonymous 14-question survey among 351 residents across 81 dermatology residencies to better characterize the features of needlestick and other sharps injuries.

The researchers identified 645 reported sharps injuries, 444 of which were sustained during residency training. During residency, 76% of trainees reported sustaining a sharps injury, with cumulative frequency increasing by postgraduate year (PGY). By PGY 4, the mean number of sharps injuries was 2.4 per resident. Overall, 77% of injuries occurred during surgical procedures, with 51% occurring outside of procedural or operating rooms. Suturing was the most frequently reported cause of a sharps injury (42%), and most were self-induced. Rushing contributed to 53% of sharps injuries; 34 and 38% were not reported to occupational health services and the resident's attending physician, respectively. Most respondents (86%) had received formal sharps safety education during residency, but more than 70% had not received hands-on safety training.

"The lack of hands-on safety training reported by most residents and the time pressure associated with rushing provide additional actionable areas for introducing changes to prevent such injuries," the authors write.

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