Injections should not cause infections.
Safety syringes, like Sharps Provensa™, are your best protection against accidental needlestick injuries. But what should you do if you accidentally stick yourself while handling a traditional syringe or a less effective safety needle?
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you experience a needlestick or sharps injury or were exposed to the blood or other body fluid of a patient during the course of your work, immediately follow these steps:
Immediately wash the needlestick or cut with soap and running water, flush splashes to the nose, mouth, or skin with water, and irrigate eyes with clean water, saline, or sterile irrigants.
Report the incident to your supervisor and/or occupational health services, to help you get the right care and help prevent future injuries.
Consult your doctor immediately. If they determine you are at risk for infection, you may need treatment such as vaccination, antiretroviral drugs, or enzyme inhibitors. They also may recommend psychological support such as counseling to help you cope with anxiety or stress from the incident.
HIV PEP Administration
When indicated, HIV PEP administration is recommended as soon as possible. PEP is the use of antiretroviral drugs after a single high-risk event to stop HIV seroconversion. PEP must be started as soon as possible to be effective—and always within 72 hours of a possible exposure.
If you have questions about appropriate medical treatment for occupational exposures, assistance is available from the Clinicians’ Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) Line at 1-888-448-4911.
Karen Daley, PHD, RN, FAAN, Director at Sharps Technology, is a valued stakeholder in patient and occupational safety. She contributed to Moving the Sharps Safety in Healthcare Agenda Forward in the United States: 2020 Consensus Statement and Call to Action developed by the Sharps Injury Prevention Stakeholder group in collaboration with the International Safety Center.