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Needlestick Injury

Needlestick injury: A wound from a needle (or other sharp object) which penetrates the skin and may result in exposure to blood or other body fluids carrying an infectious disease.

It is estimated that there are approximately 100,000 needlestick injuries in the UK each year. 17% of recorded injuries to NHS staff are caused in this way.

Initial produced the following infographic to demonstrate the UK statistics. This is a very common injury for both medical and dental staff.needlestick-banner1

NHS Needlestick Report

The following information is taken from a recent NHS needlestick injury and sharps injury report.

The National Audit Office report of April 2003.

A safer place to work – improving the management of health and safety risks in NHS trusts.

The report found that needlestick and sharps injuries account for 17 per cent of accidents to NHS staff. They are the second most common cause of injury, behind moving and handling at 18 per cent.

The major blood-borne pathogens of concern associated with needlestick injury are:

 hepatitis B virus (HBV)

 hepatitis C virus (HCV)

 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

However, other infectious agents also have the potential for transmission through needlestick injury. These include:

 human T lymphotrophic retroviruses (HTLV I & II)

 hepatitis D virus (HDV or delta agent, which is activated in the presence of HBV) hepatitis G virus (GB virus or GBV-C)

 cytomegalovirus (CMV)  Epstein Barr Virus (EBV)

 parvovirus B19  transfusion-transmitted virus (TTV)

 West Nile Virus (WNV)

 malarial parasites

 prion agents such as those associated with transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE).

Further information can be found in the NHS Needlestick Injury pdf.

Information about how to deal with a sharps or needlestick injury can be found in the Needlestick & Sharps injury infographic.


If your health has been affected by a needlestick injury then Lisa Wood would be happy to offer some straight forward legal advice and guidance.

Lisa Wood