Needlestick Injuries

What to do if you have had a needlestick injury, bite, or body fluid splash incident.

First download our procedure for needlestick injuries.

  • Read Appendix 1, located on page 11, which tells you how to apply first aid and what to do about informing your manager.
  • Scroll down to pages 12 and 13.
  • Appendix 2, is an Exposure Risk Assessment Record.
  • Print this form off and follow the instructions below.

Please follow the steps below:

  • The person who has received the needlestick injury needs to complete the Appendix 2 forms with as much detail as possible..

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  • The person who is in charge of the work area, in which the incident occurred needs to complete the risk assessment part of Appendix 2.
  • It is important that the source patient details are completed - if the patient consents to test for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.
  • Make sure that you tick the appropriate boxes so we know what Blood Borne Viruses you have been tested for.
  • If the patient is unable to consent or source unknown please document this on comment line.
  • Further help and information about testing source patients is found on pages 20 and 21 (Appendices 5 and 6) of the Needlestick Injuries policy.

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  • If the risk assessment on the needlestick incident is ‘high risk’, the person who received the injury should go to A+E immediately and inform the triage nurse. Take the completed Appendix 2 forms with you.
  • When you have been assessed/treated in A+E, ask them to complete the forms and fax them immediately to Occupational Health on ext 57947. YOU MUST also inform Occupational Health on ext 57950 as soon as you are able so that we can plan your aftercare and follow up.

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  • If the incident is not considered ‘high risk’, YOU MUST inform Occupational Health on ext 57950 within 1 working day, faxing copies of the Appendix 2 forms to 57947. We will assess if you require a Hepatitis B booster, and take a blood sample from you for storage. We will also advise you on any follow up care you will require.

N.B. This is only a brief guide to the steps required immediately after you have a needlestick injury, body fluid splash or a human bite incident. For more detailed information please refer to the policy.

Staff in Occupational Health are available from Monday to Friday 8am-4-15pm on ext 57950. Help is available in A+E outside these hours.

Please remember to ALWAYS inform Occupational Health about any needlestick or body fluid contamination incident, whether high or low risk so we can ensure you are offered the correct follow up support and services.

Please remember to complete the Trust Incident reporting form via the intranet.

How to prevent future injuries

DO NOT overfill sharps bins.

DO NOT re-sheath needles.

ALWAYS dispose of your own sharps.

WEAR protective clothing where necessary.

How are needlestick injuries caused?

The following statements are all genuine needlestick injuries reported to The Staff Health & Wellbeing Centre:

"Gave patient tetanus injection, put sharp in sharps bin, as pushing flap down needle turned round and pierced my skin".

"Student nurse was clearing sharps after vaccine and dropped needle as putting in sharps bin.  Caught it before it fell so I scratched myself.  Immediately applied pressure, made wound bleed under water."

"As I was putting the needle into the sharps box I felt a needle prick there was a needle sticking out of the box".

"Putting the needle in the sharps bin, hit off the plastic and turned around and punctured my skin"

"After giving the injection for Insulin i tried to put the cap back on and the needle pricked my hand"

"Mopping around side room 1 i noticed what looked like a lid top on the floor, went to pick it up and there was a small needle on the end which pricked right thumb"