2019 Volume 61 Issue 1 Pages 164-170
Needle-stick and sharps injuries (NSIs) can happen even when dental health care workers (DHCWs) act in compliance with standard precautions to prevent transmitting blood-borne infections. The objective of this study was to investigate causes of NSIs that had occurred at a dental specialty university hospital during the past 12 academic years. A total of 215 NSIs were reported during the investigation period, and NSIs ascribed to female DHCWs (n = 148; 68.8%) were significantly (P < 0.05) more common than those ascribed to male DHCWs (n = 67; 31.2%). One hundred twenty-six NSIs (58.6%) were caused by DHCWs with little experience (P < 0.05), and 37 of those (17.2% of the total) were ascribed to undergraduate students during clinical training (P < 0.05). The NSIs occurred both during treatment (n = 119; 55.3%) and during cleaning up used devices (n = 89; 41.4%). The NSIs at the dental hospital occurred with a probability of 0.004% of total therapeutic opportunities. Prevention of NSIs should be the responsibility of dental students and DHCWs, and should be a part of education about infection control to prevent the nosocomial transmission of blood-borne pathogens.