Advice and development

Sharps injuries: knowing how to prevent them and understanding your risk

Accidents with needles or blades are a key occupation hazard – find out how to stay safe

Accidents with needles or blades are a key occupation hazard in nursing, so it’s important for nursing students to be familiar with best practice when using sharps

What is a sharps injury?

Sharps are medical instruments, such as needles or blades that are used for carrying out healthcare procedures.

A sharps injury happens when a needle, blade, for example a scalpel, or even a patient’s bone fragment or tooth cuts or pierces the the healthcare worker’s skin, exposing them to blood and bodily fluids.

Who is at risk from sharps injuries?

Anyone who comes into contact with a sharp instrument previously used on a patient is at risk of injury.

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