Blood Borne Viruses (BBVs) & Needlesticks
Every day staff in NHS carry out clinically related work activities and although these processes and procedures help to provide crucial treatment to patients throughout Scotland, some of them can involve the potential risk of exposure to Blood-borne viruses.
Needlestick injuries or sharp injuries are a well-known risk in the health and social care sector. Sharps contaminated with an infected patient's blood can transmit more than 20 diseases, including Hepatitis B, C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Because of this transmission risk, sharps injuries can cause worry and stress to the many thousands who receive them.
A sharp may be defined as any object or instrument, which may cause a puncture or incisional wound in the skin. The term includes glass ampoules, hypodermic and suture needles, blades and sharp edges of human tissue, e.g. bone, nail and teeth.
NHS Golden Jubilee
Needlestick injuries (NSI) or similar injuries have the potential to cause serious harm and NHS GJ is committed to ensuring that the risk of injury from sharps is reduced to the lowest possible level. This will be achieved by promoting safe sharp practice and the use of safe sharp devices. Further guidance on this can be found within the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual, Chapter 1 (http://www.nipcm.hps.scot.nhs.uk/);
All incidents should be reported to the Occupational Health Department, ideally within one hour of the incident. This helps to ensure that any required actions can be undertaken timeously and treatment started should this be required.
Public Health Scotland
With a needlestick the main risk is when the health care worker sustains an injury after the device has been used and is contaminated with the patients blood. All needlestick events should be reported to Occupational Health and Health & Safety.
The documents on this page will provide you with the information and forms needed to report a needlestick or sharps injury.
If you sustain a needlestick/ sharps injury outwith office hours (9am-5pm) Mon-Fri and require support, please report to your nearest A&E dept. Please report this to Occupational Health on 0131 275 6360 as soon as possible. You should also complete an AIR form and forward to your manager for signing and onward to HWL at the address at the top of the form.
Scottish Ambulance Service
The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on achieving their safe use and disposal. It is supported by a risk assessment (document HS 010a) and a list of current equipment in use (document HS 010b).