NAPPSI has launched a major new campaign for a Clinician Advisory, to alert clinicians to the benefits of primary prevention of sharps injuries. The campaign focuses on petitioning U.S. health agencies to highlight the distinct benefits of primary and secondary prevention of sharps injuries. NAPPSI will request that health agencies distribute a brief advisory on the benefits of both primary and secondary prevention to clinicians, and that the advisory be routinely printed on materials distributed to clinicians. The proposed advisory, “Notification to Clinicians on Sharps Injury Prevention,” begins with the clinician alert already issued by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH): “Healthcare workers who use or may be exposed to needles are at increased risk of needlestick injury. Such injuries can lead to serious or fatal infections with bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).”
The proposed Clinician Advisory also states:
In order to prevent bloodborne pathogens exposure, clinicians are advised to utilize both Primary and Secondary sharps injury prevention techniques.
Primary prevention techniques eliminate the needs to introduce sharps into the workplace, thereby reducing the total number of sharps used.
Secondary prevention techniques render safer those sharps that must be introduced into the workplace.
The combination of Primary and Secondary Prevention maximizes healthcare worker safety with respect to blood-borne pathogens exposure from sharps injury.
Disseminating this advisory is the next significant achievement in the global effort to educate and protect healthcare workers against sharps injuries. Both primary and secondary prevention have appropriate applications. But only primary prevention has the benefit of reducing — and often eliminating — the need to use a potentially lethal medical sharp in the first place”.
— Steve Bierman, M.D. NAPPSI’s president and CEO of Venetec International.