Used needles and syringes have a number of dangers that they pose to health care workers and other people who may come in contact with them. While the feeling of a sharp needle prick is never pleasant the most immediate danger that a person faces when exposed to a used needle or syringe is that of contracting an illness or infection from a bloodborne pathogen that can be transferred from the bodily fluid on the needle to the person that got the needle prick.
Bloodborne pathogen illnesses or diseases are conditions that are contracted by transferring the small microorganisms from one person to another. There are a number of illnesses and diseases that can be contracted in this matter. The most popular of these diseases include HIV, AIDS, TB or various forms of hepatitis. The majority of these illnesses are transferred by contact of bodily fluids such as blood or saliva. However, sometimes these illnesses and diseases can be contracted by the accidental prick of a used syringe that was previously used by someone who has one of these transferable illnesses.
An accidental syringe needle prick can happen to anyone. However, health care workers are at a higher risk for developing bloodborne pathogen illnesses because of their need to deal with used syringes and needles on a daily basis. The risk for contracting these types of illnesses can be reduced by educating health care workers about the dangers of exposed needles and syringes, proper used syringe disposal and changing the types of syringes and needles that are used to safety syringes. While these precautions won’t completely prevent the risk of contracting these types of illnesses and diseases it can greatly reduce a health care worker’s chance of contracting it by reducing the amount of contact they have with used needles and syringes.
With the proper precautionary measures taken to ensure that all health care workers are educated and protected as best they can the number of cases of health care workers contracting these types of illnesses and disease will diminish greatly. Bloodborne pathogen illnesses will still be an occupational hazard that health care workers face on a daily basis but just having the various precautionary measures in place will reduce this serious workplace hazard from happening at all. There is no 100% protection policy from these types of illnesses and diseases. The only way to protect one’s self is through careful practices and procedures while at the workplace and safe syringe disposal.
Susan Halpern is an expert on bloodborne pathogen and related topics. To learn more about this topic and syringe safety, please visit http://www.Syringe-Safety.com