Needlesticks in medical students in university hospitals

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The incidence of needlesticks and the effect of experience and other personal characteristics on the risk of needlesticks in medical students are unknown. Eighty-nine medical students were given a self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire was completed by 86 students, and there were 91 sticks in 43 students. The incidence of needlesticks was 5.8/1000 procedures on the first rotation and 0.1/ 1000 during the second 4-month period (relative risk, 6.5, with 95% confidence interval (CI) of 3.4–125; P < 0.001). Personal characteristics were not associated with needlesticks except for tension felt while drawing blood and accident proneness. Those who were stuck during the first rotation were more likely to be stuck subsequently (odds ratio, 9.0, with 95% CI of 1–422; P < 0.05). We conclude that experience decreases the risk for needlesticks and therefore effective instructional intervention may have the biggest impact during the first medical student ward experience. Emphasis may have to be placed on those students who are accident prone or have been stuck in the past. Further studies are warranted to substantiate our findings and to test the effectiveness of various interventional approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-849
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1995


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