Needlestick Injuries Increasing, but Not Always Taken Seriously
Karen Daley is one of the leading advocates of needlestick safety prevention. She was an emergency room nurse in San Francisco during the HIV pandemic and was exposed to HIV before they even knew what it was. She contracted HIV from a needlestick from an infected patient. She has since been an advocate for safety-engineered devices and education and training to support healthcare workers. She was president of the ANA (American Nurses Association); the largest organization supporting nurses across the country and used that platform to promote needlestick safety and prevention. Through her advocacy, she was instrumental in the passage of the 2000 Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act. This article discusses how NSIs (needlestick injuries) diminished significantly since the passage of the Act, however, there have been significant increases over the last 10-15 years due to the diminished focus on NSIs. Cumulative research has repeatedly shown that the majority of NSIs take place in the operating room, one of the highest pace settings within hospitals.