Recommendation issued to prevent needlesticks

The Food and Drug Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have recommended healthcare professionals in surgical settings use blunt-tip needles when clinically appropriate to suture muscle and fibrous tissue to help prevent needlestick injuries, according to the American Hospital Association.

"Published studies show that using blunt-tip suture needles reduces the risk of needlestick injuries from suture needles by 69%," the notice states. "Although blunt-tip suture needles currently cost some 70 cents more than their standard suture needle counterparts, the benefits of reducing the risk of serious and potentially fatal bloodborne infections for health care personnel support their use when clinically appropriate." About one in four needlestick injuries occur in surgical settings. "Published literature indicates that while needlestick injury rates have been decreasing among non-surgical health care providers, this has not been the case among those who work in surgical settings," the notice states.

To view the recommendations, go to http://1.usa.gov/KUf3Ei.