Needlestick/sharp instrument injuries are of major concern to health care workers. All of the significant exposures reported in the academic year 2003/04 in our Faculty, were injuries of this type. The risk of transmission of hepatitis B to those not immunized through significant percutaneous exposure is 30%, hepatitis C is 3%, and HIV is 0.3%. Maintain sharp ends of any instrument or device angled away from both you and co-workers when receiving, handling or passing such instruments.
Used needles should not be bent or broken prior to disposal. Unsheathed needles are placed directly into the designated, puncture-proof disposal container along with any other sharp instruments such as acid etch applicator needles, endodontic files, burs, Bard Parker and scalpel blades, and metal matrices.