Sharps injury is a penetrating stab wound from a needle, scalpel, or another sharp object that may result in exposure to blood or other body fluids. According to World Health Organization pooled estimate, the annual incidence of sharps injury in Africa was ranged from 2.10 to 4.68 per person per year, but research data in Ethiopia is limited. The aim of the study was to investigate sharps injury prevalence and associated risk factors.
Institution based cross-sectional study was conducted with 200 healthcare providers (HCP) in Northeast Ethiopia. Proportionate stratified sampling was used to select HCP. Sharps injury during the last 12 months was an outcome variable whereas demographic characteristics, behavioral attributes, and job environment characteristics were independent variables. Data was collected from April to May 2016 using self-administered questionnaire; which was adapted from World Health Organization best practices for injections and related procedures toolkit. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis was carried out to identify sharps injury associated risk factors. Epi Info version 3.5.1 software package was used for data coding and entry whereas Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 software package was used for analysis.
In total, 195 HCP participated with a response rate of 97.5%. The prevalence of sharps injury was 32.8%. Following adjustment for covariates, lack of in-service job training and previous exposure to sharps injury were statistically significant risk factors for sharps injury. HCP who had no in-service job training were 4.7 times more likely sustained sharps injury compared with those who had in-service job training (p < 0.001, OR = 4.7, 95% CI = 2.05–10.56). HCP who had previous exposure to sharps injury were 3.7 times more likely sustained sharps injury compared with those who were not exposed (p-value = 0.002, OR = 3.7, 95% CI = 1.62–8.27).
This study revealed 32.8% or at least three out of ten HCP exposed to sharps injury. This was found statistically significant among HCP who had no in-service job training and who had previous exposure to sharps injury. Thus, training HCP perhaps increase their skill and curiosity to reduce exposure to sharps injury.