Objectives The purpose of this study was to determine which of the following denominators, number of health care workers, number of hospital beds, and number of inpatient-days would predict best of the national number of needlestick injury (NSIs) and the national number of biological exposures to specific bloodborne pathogens.
Methods Four years after our first attempt at calculating the national incidence of NSIs in Taiwan healthcare workers (HCWs) from 14 hospitals, using Exposure Prevention Information Network (EPINet) data, we are now able to analyse the much larger dataset reported from 49 hospitals that consist of 44,939 HCWs.
Results A total of 1,837 NSIs were reported between Jan 1st and Dec 31th 2011. The annual number was estimated to be 5,663 NSIs per hospital size, 8,319 per HCWs, and 7,828 per inpatient-day; indicating similar estimates using different denominators. The estimated annual frequency of pathogen-specific NSIs was 970 for hepatitis B, 1,094 for hepatitis C, and 99 for HIV.
Conclusions This study documents the annual incidence of NSIs among HCWs showing important potential exposure to viral hepatitis and HIV, as well as the improvement in needlestick prevention over the years in Taiwan. In addition, the provision of safety engineered devices became a law in December 2011 in Taiwan. It is worth observing the influence of the new act to HCW’s occupational health.
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