Safety

Promote widespread discussion about blunt-tip sutures

Hospital Safety Insider, January 20, 2010

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A new study examining needlestick injuries and physician attitudes toward blunt-tip sutures indicates that operating rooms (ORs) remain marooned in the last millennium.
 
Although statistics show that blunt-tip sutures help reduce injury rates for every staff member participating in a surgery, many physicians still won’t use them.
 
“OSHA requires the use of devices that will reduce needlestick injuries regardless of cost,” says Jane Perry, associate director of the International Health Care Worker Safety Center at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. “If OSHA [inspectors] came into an OR—and they are very aware of the use and nonuse of blunt suture needles—they could cite a facility for not using them.”
 
Hospital culture plays into the debate, too, says Scott Sullivan, MD, MSCR, assistant professor at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and co-author of the new study about blunt-tip suture use in ORs.
 
Read the full story, including steps EC professionals can take in response to the study, in the February issue of Briefings on Hospital Safety, which is part of all subscriptions to the Hospital Safety Center. In this issue, you’ll also learn about the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s report about Steris System 1 risks and ideas for how to improve vertical evacuations.
 
Don’t forget, you can always take a 14-day free trial of the Hospital Safety Center.
 



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