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Médecine du travail du personnel hospitalier

Short-term economic impact associated with occupational needlestick injuries among acute care nurses.

Curr Med Res Opin. 2005 Dec;21(12):1915-22.
Short-term economic impact associated with occupational needlestick injuries among acute care nurses.
‘Lee WC, Nicklasson L, Cobden D, Chen E, Conway D, Pashos CL.
HERQuLES, Abt Associates Inc., Bethesda, MD, USA.’

PURPOSE: Recent survey data have reported the incidence rate of needlestick injuries (NIs) and NIs which draw blood sustained by nurses caring for patients with diabetes in an in-patient hospital setting. The purpose of this study was to deduce the potential short-term annual economic impact resulting from such NI, and to project the potential national economic burden of NI among this population of health care workers (HCWs).METHODS: Data were obtained from a recently published, IRB-approved, Internet-based survey in which nurses routinely treating patients with diabetes self-reported outcomes of their experience with NI (N = 400). A micro-costing approach was adopted. Direct costs comprised post-exposure testing (PET) for infection, post-exposure health care services utilization, and NI-induced post-exposure prophylactic (PEP) drug utilization. Indirect costs were derived from missed workdays and associated lost productivity. These data were combined with data related to the national epidemiology and total incidence of NIs among HCWs and risk-associated populations to project the national burden.RESULTS: Among 400 nurses, 110 sustained at least one NI in the past year, with 73 punctures drawing blood. The ensuing total short-term costs of these NIs were calculated to range from $25 896 to $36 066. Indirect costs accounted for 44-62% of this total cost. Average short-term costs per NI ranged from $145 to $201, and average short-term costs of NI per injured nurse ranged from $235 to $328. Assuming mean values from published literature on the incidence and distribution of NI among nursing populations, an annual national burden of $65 million was calculated for costs in the immediate period following NI.CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest substantial economic burden immediately following NI on a national and individual hospital level occurring among acute-care nurses treating patients with diabetes. Long-term treatment costs would add to the overall economic burden.

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