One needlestick injury can cost hundreds of dollars, study estimates

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Italian researchers say the economic burden of managing needlestick and sharps injuries among healthcare personnel be offset by the savings generated by lowering these incidents in a new study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

The study authors conducted a systematic review of economic analyses related to needlestick and sharps injuries performed between January 1997 and February 2015. All total, 14 studies were examined, including eight data-driven studies and six modeling studies.

The review of the studies revealed the average aggregate cost (including direct and indirect costs) for needlestick and sharps injuries ranged from $199 to $1,691, with a median of $747.

The average direct costs for each incident ranged from $48 to $1,516, with a median of $425. Indirectly, the average incident cost between $152 and $413, with a median of $322.

Ultimately, indirect costs were fairly consistent between data-driven and modeling studies, but direct costs varied widely within and between studies. The variety in cost could be traced back to source infectivity, healthcare personnel susceptibility, and post-exposure diagnostic and prophylactic protocols.

"[Needlestick and sharps injuries] generate significant direct, indirect, potential and intangible costs, possibly increasing over time," the study concluded. "Economic efforts directed at preventing occupational exposures and infections, including provision of safety-engineered devices, may be offset by the savings from a lower incidence of [needlestick and sharps injuries]."



More articles on needlesticks and sharps:
Stable surgical teams see fewer sharps-related exposures, study finds
How often do training residents experience needlestick and sharps injuries? 5 study findings
Reusable sharps containers and disease transmission: Test your knowledge

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