Hospital hazards: BD initiates a campaign on safety-engineered medtech devices

A campaign has been launched by the Becton Dickinson to encourage usage of safety engineered devices to ensure healthcare worker safety

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New Delhi: The Becton Dickinson (BD) is organizing a ‘Santa Says…Stay Sharp Be Safe’ pan India campaign, to encourage usage of safety-engineered devices which it says is aligned with its commitment towards the safety of healthcare workers. The campaign will run during December 20-31 to spread awareness of healthcare worker safety across hospitals such as Medanta, Gangaram, Artemis, Columbia Asia, Apollo, PSRI, ESI, BLKapur to name a few in Delhi.

Realising the occupational hazards faced by workers in a healthcare setup, BD had initiated this campaign last year. This year, the campaign focuses on the issues faced by healthcare workers – needle stick injuries including exposure to bloodborne pathogens such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, being the most highest of all.

According to a study, India contributes to 30% of the 16 billion injections administered worldwide. Sadly, of these, 63% are estimated to be unsafe due to improper sterilization, reuse or faulty administration, making them a leading cause of infection to healthcare workers.

There have been epidemics of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C in many parts of the country due attributable to reuse of syringes and needles. Additionally, needle prick injuries is a prominent occupational hazard and has the prevalence ranging from 10% to 50% in the studied population. WHO has observed that there were 3 mn accidental NSIs leading to 37% of all new HBV cases, 39% of new HCV cases and 5.5% of new HIV cases.

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Dr Deepak Singla, Medical Director, Maharaja Agrasen Hospital, NABH Assessor (QCI), JCI Accreditation Coordinator, New Delhi says, “Injuries from blood-filled needles is the major reason because of which healthcare workers become vulnerable to blood borne pathogens and life- threatening diseases. Needles are mostly used in performing high-risk procedures like drawing blood, intravascular catheterization etc. The good news is that majority of the infections through needle stick injuries are preventable. Program like this one from (BD) like Santa Says… Stay Sharp, Be Safe campaign focusing on education and training of healthcare workers pertaining to needle stick injury prevention and use of safety engineered devices can go a long way in bringing down the incidence of infections.”

A study undertaken in AIIMS Trauma centre in 2014 showed about 36% of doctors, 14.6% of nurses and 7% of housekeeping staff had accidental needle stick injuries. Moreover, a policy guidance released by the WHO in February 2015 highlighted needle- stick injury as one of the major issues and have advocated for the use of Sharps Injury Protection (SIP) devices. This policy also provides guidance to key stakeholders that play a critical role in the adoption and implementation of safe injection practices, i.e., in endorsing the policy, manufacturing the devices, ensuring their procurement and distribution at the country level, promoting their correct use by health-care providers and their evaluation in terms of safety and effectiveness

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Mr Vishal Taneja, Business Director-BD Medical, BD in India commented, “With ‘Santa says..Stay Sharp Be Safe’ campaign across hospitals this festive season, we would seek to advance the right spirit of education and training on infection prevention and control, including needlestick and sharps safety, use of safety-engineered devices for better clinical practices and also enhance our engagement to protect healthcare workers from sharps injuries in the country. BD’s portfolio of safety devices for blood collection, injection, infusion, and sharps collection helps ensure patient safety and healthcare provider protection from the risks associated with unsafe practices.”

With these implementations and by taking cautious precautions, healthcare workers can adapt to a healthy and safe working environment for themselves which will reduce the intensity of hospital acquired infections and needle stick injuries.