Needlestick Injuries | Sharps Injury & the Risk of Infection
| Victoria infirmary domestic compensated after needle injury
If you have had an accident involving needles call our No Win No Fee Lawyers FREE on 0800 0891331 and we can investigate matters for you and advise you on your first step towards receiving the compensation you deserve.
Needlestick injuries, which are skin punctures caused by hypodermic needles, are a common hazard for those who work in the Health Care industry and usually occurred as a result of needles being discarded in a careless fashion.
Available statistics probably underestimate the severity of the problem because many workers do not report their injuries.
In a confidential survey 300 healthcare professionals were asked about their personal experience of needle-stick injury and their attitudes to reporting.
From the 279 individuals who responded, 38% had experienced at least one needlestick injury in the past year with 74% having sustained such an injury during their careers.
Although 80% of respondents were aware that such incidents should be notified, only 51% of those affected had reported all needlestick injuries.
Doctors were found to be less likely to report than nurses, despite a higher liability to injury.
While Scotland has been fortunate in recent years in not knowingly having had needlestick injury cases with serious life threatening consequences, in a society with increasing background of patients with HIV, Hepatitis B and C and CJD, there is a potential risk of serious illness and of fatalities.
There is also the mental trauma faced by the individual in trying to cope with the fear that they have been infected.
Thompsons Personal Injury Solicitors has been at the forefront in addressing this issue and indeed Patrick McGuire in his cases of Clement -v- Scottish Ambulance Service and Skinner -v- Scottish Ambulance Service was successful in establishing that the use of traditional needles by branches of the NHS can be considered a breach of the country's health and safety legislation.
While previously the NHS had ruled out recommending the introduction of safety devices due to their costs, the Court took the view that the NHS's refusal to introduce safety syringes on cost grounds alone was a breach of employment and safety laws. In light of these appeal cases, the then Health Minister at the Scottish Parliament, Andy Kerr announced a review of the use of needles across the entire NHS.
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