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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-14

Knowledge and awareness of needlestick injury among students of Rural Dental College, Maharashtra, India

Department of Periodontology and Oral Implantology, Rural Dental College, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication24-Aug-2011

Correspondence Address:
Rajiv Saini
Department of Periodontology and Oral Implantology, Rural Dental College, Loni, Tehsil - Rahata, Dist. Ahmednagar, Maharashtra - 413 736
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0331-3131.84221

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Objectives : To assess the knowledge and awareness regarding needlestick injury among undergraduate dental students of Rural Dental College.
Materials and Methods : This cross-sectional observational study was conducted among students of Rural Dental College, Maharashtra, India. A predesigned questionnaire, which assessed knowledge and awareness about needlestick injury and its management, was the tool of data collection.
Results : A total of 150 students participated. The male to female ratio was 1:2; mean age of respondents was 20.66±1.01 years. On an average, 89.23% and 10.67% of the students had correct and incorrect knowledge about needlestick injury, respectively. A total of 91.55% exhibited adequate level of awareness, while 08.45% exhibited incorrect level of awareness about management of needlestick injury.
Conclusion : Results indicate that the students had good knowledge and adequate awareness about needlestick injury.

Keywords: Dental, injury, needlestick

How to cite this article:
Saini R. Knowledge and awareness of needlestick injury among students of Rural Dental College, Maharashtra, India. Ann Nigerian Med 2011;5:12-4

How to cite this URL:
Saini R. Knowledge and awareness of needlestick injury among students of Rural Dental College, Maharashtra, India. Ann Nigerian Med [serial online] 2011 [cited 2021 May 6];5:12-4. Available from: https://www.anmjournal.com/text.asp?2011/5/1/12/84221

   Introduction Top

A needlestick injury is a percutaneous piercing wound typically set by a needle point, but possibly also by other sharp instruments or objects. Commonly encountered by people handling needles in the medical setting, such injuries are an occupational hazard in the medical community. Needlestick injuries constitute a major hazard for the transmission of viral diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The risk of transmission of from patient to the healthcare worker is as follows: Hepatitis C (3%), Hepatitis B (30%), and HIV (0.3%), which depends on the viral load of the patient. [1] At least 20 different pathogens are known to have been transmitted by needlestick injuries. [2] Housekeeping and laboratory personnel experienced the highest incidence of needlestick injuries, but 60% of all injuries occurred in nursing personnel. Most injuries occurred during disposal of used needles (23.7%), during administration of parental injections or infusion therapy (21.2%), drawing blood (16.5%), recapping needles after use (12%), or handling linens or trash containing uncapped needles (16.1%). [3] Needlestick injury is a significant problem in general practice and exposes general practitioners and practice nurses to a serious risk of infection from blood-borne transmissible agents. All patients should be considered to pose a potentially high risk of infection; also, recommended precautionary measures should be followed at all times. [4] An effective and multifaceted management plan must be prepared for prevention and management of needlestick injuries in healthcare workers. After an occupational exposure, the healthcare worker should be counseled about the degree of risk associated with the type of exposure: needlestick injuries pose a greater risk than splashes, and those from a hollow-bore needle are a greater risk than from a solid needle. [5] The objective of the study was to assess the knowledge and awareness for needlestick injury among undergraduate students of Rural Dental College, located in a rural area in the central part of Maharashtra, India.

   Materials and Methods Top

A cross-sectional observational study was conducted among the students of Rural Dental College, Maharashtra, India. A total of 150 students were randomly sampled and who voluntarily participated in the study; the subjects were fully informed about the design and purpose of the study. All the students in the class were numbered serially and a stratified random sampling was done. A written informed consent was obtained from each participant and anonymity of the participants was maintained throughout the study. Data were collected on a pre-tested structured questionnaire distributed among these students in the classroom who were asked to fill the questionnaire. The questionnaire included a full range of response options designed to identify the practitioner's knowledge, awareness, and compliance with universal precautions in the health sector. Prior to distribution of the questionnaire, a pilot study was done with a selected group of healthcare workers who were asked to complete the questionnaire and return with comments. Minor changes were made to the final instrument. The questionnaire consisted of questions to assess the knowledge and awareness towards needlestick injury. The statistical tools such as Z test of difference between two proportions - mean and standard deviation (SD) values - were employed.

   Results Top

A total of 150 students completed the questionnaire; of these students, 66.67% were female and 33.33% were male. The male to female ratio was 1:2; mean age of total respondents was 20.66 years (males, 21.14 years; females, 20.18 years), as shown in [Table 1]. The study found significant difference in age of male and female patients (P<0.01). After applying Z test for the difference between two sample proportions, a significant difference was noted between knowledge of needlestick injury for all statements in regards to correct and incorrect (ie, P<0.05) [Table 2]. On an average, 89.23% were correct and 10.67% were incorrect for knowledge about needlestick injury. On the other hand, after applying Z test for the difference between two sample proportions, there was a significant difference between awareness for management of needlestick injury for all statements in regards to correct and incorrect (ie, P<0.05). On an average, 91.55% were correct and 08.45% were incorrect for their knowledge about management of needlestick injury [Table 3]. Their knowledge was not affected by the year of their study in dentistry.
Table 1: Data presentation of participants

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Table 2: Results regarding the respondent's knowledge about needlestick injury

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Table 3: Results regarding respondents' awareness for management of needlestick injury

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   Discussion and Conclusion Top

The medical fraternity has systematically ignored the importance of occupational health and safety and disaster management in teaching, training, and epidemiological research. [6] In the present study, 74% students knew that needlestick injuries result in transmission of blood-borne diseases through the passage of Hepatitis B virus (HBV), Hepatitis C virus (HCV), and HIV; 94% of the participants believed that Hepatitis B carries the greatest risk of transmission. About 91% of the students believed that Hepatitis B vaccine prevents HBV infection. In general, the analysis of students indicates that they have a relatively good level of knowledge about needlestick injury. Regarding awareness of students towards management of needlestick injury, the overall average percentage of correct answer was 91.55. About 89% of students confirm that Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) should be initiated within one hour of the injury. A majority (96%) of participants believed that most injuries occurred during disposal of used needles and a majority (96%) of students knew that blue bag is used for disposal of waste sharps. The study also showed that cuts from sharp objects and needlestick injuries among healthcare workers were a widespread occupational hazard. They believe that further study is needed to evaluate existing techniques/practices involving the use of sharp instruments. The overall awareness of students is high as per the knowledge regarding management of needlestick. Thus, it can be concluded that needlestick injuries are an important and continuing cause of exposure to serious and fatal diseases among healthcare workers. Greater collaborative efforts by all stakeholders are needed to prevent needlestick injuries and the tragic consequences it can result. This research was administered among 150 undergraduate students only; therefore, one could argue that the findings are not necessarily a generalization of all undergraduate students' knowledge and awareness about the same. There should be continu­ing development and evaluation; needle devices should have safety features. Monitoring systems are also needed to provide accurate information on the magnitude of needlestick injuries and trends over time, potential risk factors, emerging new problems, and effectiveness of interven­tions in all healthcare settings. There should be an essential need for further education to improve and update the knowledge of needlestick injury and its management by well designed seminars, programs, and workshops.

   References Top

1.Elmiyeh B, Whitaker IS, James MJ, Chahal CA, Galea A, Alshafi K. Needle-stick injuries in the National Health Service: A culture of silence. J R Soc Med 2004;97:326-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Aiken LH, Sloane DM, Klocinski JL. Hospital nurses occupational exposure to blood: Prospective, retrospective, and institutional reports. Am J Public Health 1997;87:103-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Rita D, Makki DG. Epidemiology of needlestick injuries in hospital personnel. Am J Med 1981;70:928-32.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Lum D, Mason Z, Meyer-Rochow G, Neveldsen GB, Siriwardena M, Turner P, et al. Needle stick injuries in country general practice. N Z Med J 1997;110:122-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated US Public Health Service Guidelines on the management of occupational exposures to HBV, HCV, and HIV and recommendations for post-exposure prophylaxis. MMWR Recomm Rep 2001;50:1-67.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Shah R, Mehta HK, Fancy M, Nayak S, Donga BN. Knowledge and awareness regarding needle stick injuries among health care workers in tertiary care hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Nat J Com Med 2010;1:93-6.  Back to cited text no. 6


  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]

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