This study aimed at examining annual logs of needlestick/sharps injuries (NSIs) collected through a voluntary nation-wide surveillance network in twenty-years for preventing occupational blood-borne infections. The emphasis was placed on revealing the past and current situations of NSIs in health care settings.Methods
Japan-EPINet format was developed by the technical support of the International Healthcare Worker Safety Centre, University of Virginia in the United States in 1996. Japan-EPINet Surveillance (JES) was conducted by the Research Group for Occupational Infection Control and Prevention in Japan (JRGOICP). Data were analysed in four phases of the nation-wide surveillance network of AIDS referral hospitals out of a total of 364 registered, a total number of hospital-year was 1879. These hospitals reported employees’ percutaneous injuries on a voluntary basis.Results
A total of 65,032 NSIs were reported to Japan-EPINet from 1996 to 2015. The rate of hepatitis C antibody positive cases of the total NSIs decreased from 69.9% (1,511/2,161) in 1996 to 11.5% (714/6,201) in JES2015. The proportion of NSIs due to ‘recapping’ decreased (28.7%, 6.9% respectively). Devices caused to NSIs by winged steel needles (25.3%, 8.6%) and vacuum tube phlebotomy needles (4.8%, 1.7%) were decreased, disposal syringe (28.5%, 26.2%) and IV catheter (6.7%, 5.2%) were fairly decreased. The proportion of Suture needle (10.3%, 16.9%) and pre-filled cartridge syringe (2.8%, 8.3%) were increased.Discussion
The changes of characteristics NSIs in Japan in twenty-year suggested that recognition of the risks of NSIs was vital for promoting the effective use of safety-engineered needle/sharp devices and point-of-use disposal containers because the rate of hepatitis C antibody positive cases among voluntary reported NSIs. The creation of the nation-wide surveillance network was effective for monitoring and evaluating NSIs and for focusing on implementation of effective countermeasures.