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The Importance of Suture Needle Safety in the Clinical Setting

In the operating room, a surgeon and their team must work efficiently yet safely to ensure the best care and outcome for their patients. However, in the tense environment of an operating room, suture needle safety often becomes an issue, and needlestick injuries can occur.

What Are Needlestick Injuries?

Needlestick injuries are wounds caused by needles that accidentally puncture the skin and can occur at any time when people use, disassemble, or dispose of needles. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), needlestick injuries often occur in surgical settings and have the potential to expose healthcare personnel to bloodborne viruses, such as Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Why Needle Safety is Important

Of the estimated 384,000 needlestick injuries that occur in hospitals each year, 23 percent occur in surgical settings, according to the CDC. Suture needle safety is not only of concern to thousands of surgeons and healthcare workers but is also a big concern of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), who works to create standards that make exposure to contaminated sharp instruments less likely.

OSHA has established multiple compliance policies governing syringes, needles, medication delivery systems, and blunt suture needles. These instruments must be equipped with additional safety precautions, such as retractable devices for needles, guards, or sliding sheathes.

When it comes to suture needle safety, the Food and Drug Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and OSHA, all stress the importance of using blunt-tip suture needles whenever possible within the clinical setting. They claim that this practice will lower the risk that needlestick injuries and the communication of diseases will occur.

Sharp Fluidics is working to enhance needle safety and eliminate injuries in the operating room by providing high-quality needles, sutures, and other medical equipment. Check out their website to see what medical supplies they have available. Their operative armor suture needle management system provides surgeons with a solution to self-dispense and safely secure suture needles and improves OR workflow.