Journal of occupational health 2016 11 2259(1) 63-73 doi 10.1539/joh.15-0253-FS
This field study aimed to determine the incidence and distribution of needlestick injuries among medical trainees at a community teaching hospital in Toronto, Canada.
The study was performed during the 2013-2015 academic years at Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH), a University of Toronto-affiliated community-teaching hospital during the 2013-2015 academic years. Eight-hundred and forty trainees, including medical students, residents, and post-graduate fellows, were identified and invited via email to participate in an anonymous online fluidsurveys.com survey of 16 qualitative and quantitative questions.
Three-hundred and fifty trainees responded (42% response rate). Eighty-eight (25%) respondents reported experiencing at least one injury at TEGH. In total, our survey identified 195 total injuries. Surgical trainees were significantly more likely to incur injuries than non-surgical trainees (IRR = 3.03, 95% CI 1.80-5.10). Orthopaedic surgery trainees had the highest risk of a needlestick injury, being over 12 times more likely to be injured than emergency medicine trainees (IRR = 12.4, 95% CI 2.11-72.32). Only 28 of the 88 most recent needlestick injuries were reported to occupational health. Trainees reported a perception of insignificant risk, lack of resources and support for reporting, and injury stigmatization as reasons for not reporting needlestick injuries.
Needlestick injuries were a common underreported risk to medical trainees at TEGH. Future research should investigate strategies to reduce injury and improve reporting among the high-risk and reporting-averse trainees.