Quote from SA2BDOCTOR
I was just wondering if there are alot of cases of nurses getting stuck "accidently" with a needle? And also have they designed needles in such a way that you don't.
Yes and yes. Having worked as an IV therapist I can tell you that some years ago a small company developed a spring action retractable needle stylet for an IV cannula insertion. BD (Becton-Dickinson) bought out the company and incorporated this design into it's Insyte IV line. The IV team I worked on was one of the groups that tested the new product line. I haven't been working with IV's for a couple of years, but I have no doubt that they have been improving on it. There have also been designs to get needle sheaths to cover needles as soon as they are used so as to avoid needle stick accidents.
You just have to be careful and mindful when you are working with needles. I received a very bad stick in the upper arm with a needle on the end of a syringe that was full of blood during a code blue. It wasn't my fault either. We had just finished putting a P.I.C.C. line in a patient when he suddenly coded. We pushed our mayo stand with all the equipment we had used over to the side of the room. We turned our attention to starting CPR. As the Code Blue team started arriving, I turned away from the bedside and was met with the puncture in the arm. A well-meaning nurse on the unit who had gotten emotionally caught up in the excitement of the moment, not knowing what to do to be helpful, had gone to our mayo stand and gathered up all our "sharps" and was holding them with all the pointed ends facing outward. (Never do that in a room full of people.) As I turned around, and since she was standing behind me, I unsuspectingly walked right into them. I got stuck with the longest, a 14-gauge needle that had been used to do the initial stick to insert the P.I.C.C. The patient, who survived the code, cried harder than I did when he was approached for his written consent to do the HIV testing for all the follow up. Thank goodness he was HIV negative.
Another time I managed to ram the needle on a syringe completely through the fleshy part of one of my index fingers. I had given a shot of Demerol, I think it was, to a patient with hepatitis no less, and when I took it back to the med cart it dropped from my grip. Without thinking and in that second it happened I just instinctively grabbed at it when it dropped and that's when the harpooning happened. Totally an accident. I bled like a stuck pig as soon as I pulled the needle out. That time I was tested for hepatitis, but I had already had the vaccine by then anyway.
As a manager I was on a hospital's safety committee. We reviewed the hospital incident reports monthly. The biggest group of them were patient or visitor falls. The next group was needle stick injuries.
The moral. . .make sure you've had the hepatitis vaccine. Be as careful as you can whenever you are working around needles. Accidents are just that. They happen in the blink of an eye. All you can do is try to make circumstances such that an accident is less likely to harm you if one does occur.