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To evaluate the incidence of needlestick injuries (NSIs) among different models of safety-engineered devices (SEDs) (automatic, semiautomatic, and manually activated safety) in healthcare settings.
This multicenter survey, conducted from January 2005 through December 2006, examined all prospectively documented SED-related NSIs reported by healthcare workers to their occupational medicine departments. Participating hospitals were asked retrospectively to report the types, brands, and number of SEDs purchased, in order to estimate SED-specific rates of NSI.
Sixty-one hospitals in France.
More than 22 million SEDs were purchased during the study period, and a total of 453 SED-related NSIs were documented. The mean overall frequency of NSIs was 2.05 injuries per 100,000 SEDs purchased. Device-specific NSI rates were compared using Poisson approximation. The 95% confidence interval was used to define statistical significance. Passive (fully automatic) devices were associated with the lowest NSI incidence rate. Among active devices, those with a semiautomatic safety feature were significantly more effective than those with a manually activated toppling shield, which in turn were significantly more effective than those with a manually activated sliding shield (P < .001, x2 test). The same gradient of SED efficacy was observed when the type of healthcare procedure was taken into account.
Passive SEDs are most effective for NSI prevention. Further studies are needed to determine whether their higher cost may be offset by savings related to fewer NSIs and to a reduced need for user training.