Dental nurses 'at high risk of needlestick injuries'

Dental / Dental Practitioner News

The high risk of needlestick injuries among dental nurses in the UK and Ireland has been underlined by a new survey.

Conducted by the British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN) and Initial Medical, the poll revealed that 51.2 percent of nurses had received a sharps injury at some point, with the majority of injuries caused after use but before disposal.

“A new survey has shown that dental nurses in the UK and Ireland remain at a high risk of sustaining needlestick injuries.“

Of those who had received an injury, 60 percent had received more than one, with 11 percent saying they had been injured in the past year. Meanwhile, 1.24 per cent acquired a blood-borne virus as a result.

Although 97.4 percent of those who received an injury knew what steps to take, 21 percent confessed that their practice had not put new safety procedures or devices in place since the 2013 Health and Safety (Safe Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations came into force.

Rebecca Allen, category manager for Initial Medical, said: "If you don't feel like you have had appropriate sharps safety training or you don't feel the right procedures are being followed, then it is imperative you make this known within your practice."

The BADN is the professional association for dental nurses in the UK, with membership open to anyone working in this field, regardless of their level of qualification.

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