2 330+ needlestick injuries for Gauteng health workers

2015-06-02 15:15

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Johannesburg - Health workers suffered more than 2 330 needlestick injuries in Gauteng in the past three years, prompting the need for more protection and training, the DA in the province said on Tuesday.

According to the party's Jack Bloom, the highest number of needlestick injuries last year was at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, with 252, followed by Steve Biko Hospital with 154 injuries; Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, 100; the Ann Latsky Nursing College in Johannesburg, with 66; and Kalafong Hospital in Pretoria with 48.

''There is a high risk of HIV/Aids exposure with needlestick injuries, which is why a 28-day ARV course is prescribed in such cases. This is often unpleasant and debilitating,'' said Bloom.

''I am concerned that no formal survey has been done to determine the causes of the high number of needle injuries, but the department says there are plans to do this.''

He called for more protection for medical staff, and the use of safety needles and special training to minimise these injuries.

Bloom said eight hospitals did not report any needlestick injuries in 2014.

They were: Pretoria West Hospital, Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria, Cullinan Hospital outside Pretoria, Sizwe Tropical Disease Hospital in Johannesburg, Kopanong Hospital in Vereeniging, Sebokeng Hospital in Vereeniging, Tambo Memorial in Boksburg and Heidelberg Hospital.

The information was gleaned from a reply to questions the party put to the province's Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu.

Comment was not immediately available from the health department.

Read more on:    da  |  qedani mahlangu  |  pretoria  |  johannesburg  |  health and safety

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