One needlestick injury can cost hundreds of dollars, study estimates

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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