Materia Medica Malaysiana

July 13, 2007

Watch that needle, doc

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 11:14 am

NST: PETALING JAYA: Eighteen out of every 1,000 doctors are victims of needlestick injuries which hold a risk of life-threatening virus infections.
The ratio is much lower for nurses at 4.6 per 1,000.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek believes there were more than 1,000 cases of such injuries last year among government and private staff.
However, official statistics show 746 cases were reported last year, an increase of 248 over the figure in 2000.
“There is usually under-reporting of needlestick injuries, especially in the private sector,” Dr Chua said, after launching the Clinical Practice Guidelines at the Seventh Liver Update here yesterday.
He said the risk of blood-borne virus infections stood at 10 to 30 per cent for Hepatitis B, three to 10 per cent for Hepatitis C and 0.3 per cent for HIV.
“Medical personnel risk being infected if they don’t do a check-up after needlestick injuries,” he added.
Malayan Nurses Union secretary-general Maimunah Ahmad said such injuries due to needles and sharp objects were generally due to lack of awareness of the consequences and a lackadaisical attitude among nurses.
Citing examples of carelessness, she said: “The proper practice is to use forceps to pick up needles but sometimes nurses want to do things in a hurry and use their hands.”
“Some new nurses don’t remember the protocol of disposing of needles in special bins.
“When someone accidentally throws away something and a nurse needs to rummage through the rubbish bin looking for it, he/she gets pricked,” she said, adding that hospital janitors were also exposed to needlestick injuries.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Medical Association president Datuk Dr Khoo Kah Lin said injuries could be reduced if healthcare workers were properly trained in the safe use and disposal of needles.

TrackBack URI

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: