An investigation of the factors associated with needlestick injuries in two county referral hospitals in Nairobi
Achungo, Florence Akinyi
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The health care working environment carries with it a considerable risk of occupational hazards. These hazards include biological, physical, chemical, radiation and psychological hazards. Biological hazards is the most prevalent type of hazard within the health care work environment, with needle stick injury being the most prevalent type of biological hazard. The aim of this study was to investigate the factors causing needle stick injuries in county referral hospitals in Nairobi City County in order to recommend strategies for reducing the injuries. Based on the accident/incident theory, the study investigated the two main categories of causal factors, that is, system failures and human errors, and their association with occurrence of needle stick injuries among health workers in Nairobi. The study was carried out in the casualty, surgical and pediatric departments of two county referral hospitals in Nairobi. A sample of 140 health care workers was drawn from staff working in these departments. Structured questionnaires were used to collect data from the health care workers. Descriptive analysis of the data was performed using SPSS. Descriptive analysis revealed that a more than 50% of the health care workers associated the occurrence of needle stick injuries incurred through work pressure and fatigue, and which resulted to human errors. The study concluded that pressure of work and fatigue were the leading factors associated with needles stick injuries among health care workers in Nairobi County. The study recommends that hospital management should evaluate ways of relieving health worker pressure and stress in order to reduce occurrence of needle stick accidents. Further studies to establish the presence of system failures within the hospitals is also recommended. Since ordinal test of correlation was not performed on the results of this study, these findings may not be generalizable to other health facilities of similar status.