Occupational injuries prone to infectious risks amongst healthcare personnel in Kuwait: a retrospective study.

Research paper by Abeer A AA Omar, Naglaa M NM Abdo, Mona F MF Salama, Haifaa H HH Al-Mousa

Indexed on: 23 Dec '14Published on: 23 Dec '14Published in: Medical principles and practice : international journal of the Kuwait University, Health Science Centre


The study aimed at determining the prevalence of incident occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) among healthcare personnel (HCP) during 2010 and at evaluating the factors associated with these incidents.An epidemiological, retrospective, record-based study was conducted. All self-reported incidents of occupational exposure to blood and OPIM among HCP from all healthcare settings of the Kuwait Ministry of Health during 2010 were included.The total number of the exposed HCP was 249. The prevalence of incident exposure was 0.7% of the HCP at risk. Their mean age was 32.31 ± 6.98 years. The majority were nurses: 166 (66.7%), followed by doctors: 35 (14.1%), technicians: 26 (10.4%) and housekeeping personnel: 22 (8.8%). Needle stick injury was the most common type of exposure, in 189 (75.9%), followed by sharp-object injury, mucous-membrane exposure and contact with nonintact skin. The majority of needle stick exposures, i.e. 177 (93.7%), were caused by hollow-bore needles. Exposure to blood represented 96.8%, mostly during drawing blood and the insertion or removal of needles from patients [88 (35.4%)] and when performing surgical interventions [56 (22.6%)]. Easily preventable exposures such as injuries related to 2-handed recapping of needles [24 (9.6%)] and garbage collection [21 (8.4%)] were reported. Exposures mainly occurred in the inpatient wards [75 (30.1%)] and operating theaters [56 (22.6%)]. Among the exposed HCP, 130 (52.2%) had been fully vaccinated against hepatitis B virus (HBV).Needle stick injuries are the most common exposure among HCP in Kuwait, and nurses are the most frequently involved HCP category. A good proportion of exposures could be easily prevented. HBV vaccination coverage is incomplete.