National Needlestick Injuries Conference 2008 (25th April 2008)

Following unprecedented interest in the inaugural event in 2006 across the healthcare sector, the successive ‘National Needlestick Injuries Conference 2008’ drew more focus upon the medical, ethical, economic and legal issues facing healthcare workers and their healthcare environments.


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Welcome to Sharp Thinking, the website designed to support all who are interested in minimising the incidence of needlestick injuries in Ireland.

A reduction in needlestick injuries will help to alleviate the clinical, emotional, social and financial problems suffered by their needless occurrence. The human cost of a healthcare worker contracting a blood-borne virus is incalculable.

The aim of this website is to support your role in being part of an integrated approach to promoting a safe and healthy work environment by protecting yourself, your patients and co-workers from the risks of Needlestick Injuries.

This will be achieved by promoting awareness, by risk management and infection control procedures and by safer systems of working, such as improved training and education and the provision of safety engineered devices.

Needlestick injuries are emerging as one of the biggest threats facing people working in the healthcare setting today. They are increasingly recognised as a serious hazard exposing workers to deadly viruses and other bloodborne pathogens. In Ireland thousands of needlestick injuries are suffered by healthcare workers at the front line of care delivery, suffering potentially devastating psychological, medical, career and financial consequences. The human and economic impact upon healthcare productivity is also appreciable. 

The incidence of blood-borne viral infections has increased dramatically in Ireland in recent years with growing concern of the specific risks posed by HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B which can all be transmitted through needlestick injuries. Patients may also be at risk of infection from an infected health-care worker or from equipment.