The current status of sharps boxes and the problems

The current status of sharps boxes and the problems

Sharp injuries are common occupational injuries in hospitals and an important way for healthcare workers to be infected with bloodborne pathogens. Contaminated needlestick injuries and other sharp injuries are important causes of bloodborne infections in healthcare workers. According to statistics, 35 million medical workers in the world, about 3 million people are injured by sharp weapons every year, of which the most damaged are nursing staff, and 34% of sharp injuries are preventable. Many international organizations or countries, including the World Health Organization, have issued guidelines or guidelines on occupational exposure of healthcare workers.

United States and Europe. and other developed countries and regions put forward mandatory requirements for medical institutions in the form of legislation to ensure the occupational safety of medical personnel. Promoting the use of appropriate containers to handle sharps is one of the sharps behavior control measures, 10%~36% of sharps injuries are related to discarding, and studies have confirmed that the use of safe sharps containers is an effective measure to prevent and reduce operator sharps.

The correct use of sharps boxes is of great significance, but there are still many problems in the process of use due to the lack of strong awareness of norms.
1. Limited configuration location. Studies have shown that sharps box-related sharps injuries have declined in recent years, but the proportion of sharps injuries post/before treatment and when the sharps are released is still high, and medical institutions in the United States have deployed sharps boxes in each clinical ward with the aim of treating sharps as soon as possible and reducing the injury in the transfer process. Due to national conditions, costs and awareness in developing countries, most hospitals only configure sharps boxes in treatment rooms or disposal rooms, and the proportion of configuration cannot meet the needs of safe injection, and there is no guarantee that sharps boxes are installed in places where sharps are produced.

2. Few optional specifications. Sharp injuries occur primarily at the patient’s bedside. Foreign studies have found that the use of larger sharps boxes in the ward to discard sharps directly, and the use of smaller sharps boxes that can be brought to the bedside can reduce the occurrence of sharps injuries. The survey found that the top five operations that caused occupational exposure of medical staff were intravenous injection, needle disgrace sharps box, surgical stitching, blood collection, needle cap, etc.: needlestick injuries were most likely to occur during the period between the removal of the needle from the patient’s body and the release of the sharps box (48.84%).

3. The placement is not uniform, and there is no assembly system. The sharps box is now a stand-alone product with no assembly system to fix. There is no uniform specification for the placement of sharps boxes in clinical use, and the sharps boxes are usually placed on the lower layer of the treatment cart, on the operating surface or on the ground, which is inconvenient to use and has been in an open state, and there is a phenomenon of accidentally knocking over the sharpener leakage of the sharps box.

4. The needle needs to be separated into the sharps box. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance requires that the syringe and needle be disposed of as a whole, i.e., the needle not separated. At present, the sharps box used has a straight needle separation hole, which can be used for the separation of the syringe from the needle; The separation of the infusion set from the exhaust needle requires a separate scissor to cut it, which increases the chance of sharp injuries and environmental pollution.

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