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Audit of emergency department assessment and management of patients presenting with community-acquired needle stick injuries

Celenza, A., D'Orsogna, L.J., Tosif, S.H., Bateman, S.M., O'Brien, D., French, M.A and Martinez, O. P. (2011) Audit of emergency department assessment and management of patients presenting with community-acquired needle stick injuries. Australian Health Review, 35 (1). p. 57.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1071/AH09846
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Abstract

Objectives: To describe characteristics and management of people with community acquired needle stick injuries (CANSI) attending urban emergency departments; and suggest a guideline to improve assessment, management, and documentation.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of cases with CANSI attending emergency departments in two tertiary hospitals between 2001 and 2005 using medical record review with follow up phone and written survey.
Results: Thirty-nine cases met the criteria for CANSI. Persons younger than 30 years sustained 48.72% of all injuries. Source serology was available for only five cases (12.82%). Thirty-one of thirty-nine patients (79.49%) were classed as not immune to hepatitis B but only four of these (12.90%) received both hepatitis B vaccination and hepatitis B immunoglobulin. Six patients (15.38%) received HIV prophylaxis; of which two (33.33%) did not receive baseline HIV testing. Of ten patients referred to immunology clinic for follow up only two (20.00%) attended at 6 months.
Conclusion: We have identified groups that are at high risk of CANSI, including young males, security workers and cleaners. In the majority of cases protection against hepatitis B was inadequately provided, and a substantial proportion had inadequate baseline assessment and documentation. A guideline is suggested that may be used to improve these deficits.

What is known about this topic? Occupationally acquired needle stick injury guidelines are well established, but no guidelines currently exist for community acquired needle stick injuries (CANSI) which may require different risk stratification, assessment and management. Management of CANSI in Emergency Departments has not been well described.

What does this paper add? An audit of Emergency Department management of community acquired needle stick injuries demonstrates deficits in risk assessment, documentation and use of post-exposure immunisation and prophylaxis. A guideline is suggested that may be used to improve these deficits.

What are the implications for practitioners? Practitioners need to perform and document a risk assessment of the injury, perform baseline serology, and provide tetanus and hepatitis B immunisation. Use of HIV post-exposure prophylaxis is determined by local prevalence of disease, injury risk assessment, source serology if known, and time since injury.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Health Professions
Publisher: CSIRO
Copyright: © CSIRO 1996-2017
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/37003
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