Safety guidelines for sharps use in diabetes treatment
A group of medical professionals from 13 countries has agreed new global recommendations on ensuring the safety of patients and health-care workers relating to the use of needle injections for the treatment of diabetes.
The recommendations, published by the Workshop on Injection Safety in Endocrinology (WISE) consensus group, were informed by the results of a four-month survey of sharps injuries among 634 nurses from 13 western European countries and Russia. This research an and other issues were discussed at the WISE event in October last year, which brought together a diverse group of 58 leaders in the field of diabetes safety from countries including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Canada and the USA.
A new European Directive stipulates that wherever there is a risk of sharps injury, the patient and all health-care workers must be protected by adequate safety precautions, including the use of medical devices incorporating safety-engineered protection mechanisms. This legislation must be incorporated into national law in all EU member states by May next year.
The WISE recommendations are intended to be used as an aid to implementing the principles of the EU Directive in diabetes care settings. Topics covered include:
- the risks to which diabetes health-care workers are exposed;
- the impending EU legislation;
- injury implications of different devices;
- injection-technique implications;
- education and training to create a safety culture;
- the cost-effectiveness of safety devices; and
- awareness and responsibility of safe sharps disposal.
Dr Kenneth Strauss, director of safety in medicine at the European Medical Association, and a member of the WISE Consensus Group, said: “The everyday activities of health-care and downstream workers put them at risk of serious infections, with more than 30 potentially dangerous pathogens – including hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV – through injuries with contaminated needles and sharps.
"More than one million sharps injuries are estimated to occur in the EU each year, but the majority of injuries are preventable with the provision of elective training, safer working procedures and safety-engineered medical devices.”
According to WISE, the recommendations are based on a review and analysis of all peer-reviewed studies and publications on sharps safety in diabetes. The guidelines can be found at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1262363612709758
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