Sharps injuries among medical students in the faculty of medicine, Colombo, Sri Lanka
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Faculty of Medicine, General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Faculty of Medicine, General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Kandawala Watta, Ratmalana, Sri Lanka
Peradeniya Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
Medical Education Development and Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Ministry of Health, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2012;25(3):275-80
Introduction: Medical students undertake clinical procedures which carry a risk of sharps injuries exposing them to bloodborne infections. Objectives: To study the prevalence and correlates of sharps injuries among 4th-year medical students in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Materials and Methods: The survey was conducted among 4th-year medical students to find out the incidence of injuries during high-risk procedures, associated factors and practice and perceptions regarding standard precautions. A self-administered questionnaire was administered to a batch of 197 4th-year medical students. Results: A total of 168 medical students responded. One or more injury was experienced by 95% (N = 159) of the students. The majority (89%) occurred during suturing; 23% during venipuncture and 14% while assisting in deliveries. Most of the incidents (49%) occurred during Obstetrics and Gynecology attachments. Recapping needles led to 8.6% of the injuries. Thirty-five percent of students believed they were inadequately protected. In this group, adequate protection was not available in 21% of the incidences and 24% thought protection was not needed. Following the injury, 47% completely ignored the event and only 5.7% followed the accepted post-exposure management. Only 34% of the students knew about post-exposure management at the time of the incident. Only 15% stated that their knowledge regarding prevention and management was adequate. The majority (97%) believed that curriculum should put more emphasis on improving the knowledge and practice regarding sharps injuries. Conclusions: The incidence of sharps injuries was high in this setting. Safer methods of suturing should be taught and practiced. The practice of standard precautions and post-injury management should be taught.
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