KUMJ | VOL. 1 | NO. 2 | ISSUE 2 | APRIL-JUN, 2003

Knowledge, attitude and practices among health care workers on needle- stick injuries
Gurubacharya DL, KC Mathura, Karki DB

Objective: This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude and practices among health care workers on needle stick injuries. Methods: A 15-item questionnaire was administered to seventy health care workers including nurses and paramedical staffs from different departments of Kathmandu Medical College and Teaching Hospital to measure knowledge, attitude and practices on needle stick injuries. Results: Results showed that 4% and 61% of health care workers, respectively, were unaware of the fact that hepatitis B and hepatitis C can be transmitted by needle-stick injuries. 52 subjects (74%) had a history of needle-stick injuries and only 21% reported the injuries to the hospital authority. Only 23% were in the habit of using gloves for phlebotomy procedures all the time. 79% were of the impression that needle should be recapped after use. Only 66% were aware of Universal Precaution Guidelines. 16 subjects (23%) were negative for HBsAg, Anti-HCV and Anti-HIV and 54 subjects (77%) do not know about their immune status. 42 subjects (60%) had been vaccinated against hepatitis B, while 28 subjects (40%) were not vaccinated against hepatitis B. Only 6 subjects (14%) had been tested for Anti-HBs antibody after hepatitis B vaccination. Conclusion- The survey revealed that knowledge of health care workers about the risk associated with needle-stick injuries and use of preventive measures was inadequate. A standing order procedure (SOP) should be formulated regarding needle-stick injuries in all the health institutions. It should outline precautions to be taken when dealing with blood and body fluids. It should also contain reporting of all needle-stick injuries. Health care workers should be made aware of hazards, preventive measures and post-exposure prophylaxis to needle-stick injuries. A hospital-wide hepatitis immunization programme should also be started.
Keyword : needle-stick injury, universal precaution guidelines