Incident reporting

Reporting incidents is important not only to prompt appropriate individual management, but also to ensure local practices are reviewed to minimise the risk of subsequent occupational injury.

There is a significant rate of under-reporting of needlestick injuries and exposures. This as high as 50% in the US and 26.9% in Sweden (14,15).

Reasons for lack of reporting among healthcare workers include (16):

  • They presume risk of disease transmission is low.
  • There is a lack of knowledge of systems for reporting, or local protocols are complicated or unclear.
  • There is a lack of knowledge of the importance of reporting.
  • There is a belief that reporting an injury may reflect badly their standards of practice.

Learning bite

Needle stick injuries are underreported. After initial first aid is complete PEP should be prescribed according to risk assessment and local protocol.


The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Stop Sticks Campaign. [accessed May 2020].

Voide C, Darling K, Kenfak-Foguena A, et al.  Underreporting of needlestick and sharps injuries among healthcare workers in a Swiss University Hospital. Swiss Med Wkly. 2012 10;142:w13523

Cooke CE, Stephens JM. Clinical, economic, and humanistic burden of needlestick injuries in healthcare workers Medical Devices. 2017; 10:225-235.

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Mr. Hector Morales Ovejas November 23, 2022 at 8:40 am

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