Sharps injuries and the related risk of infections such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeﬁciency virus (HIV) represent one of the major occupational health risks for healthcare workers (HCWs).
Main Goal: Development of a publication on sharps injuries, the related risks of infections and the related costs.
Main Result: Publication identifying sharps injuries as a major occupational health risk for healthcare workers, and as a significant cost factor.
Literature Review: An overview of available data on the incidence of sharps injuries and the related HBV, HCV and HIV infections and ensuing costs is provided.
Results: Literature reported incidence rates of sharps injuries ranging from 1.4 to 9.5 per 100 HCWs, resulting in a weighted mean of 3.7/100 HCWs per year. Sharps injuries were associated with infective disease transmissions from patients to HCWs resulting in 0.42 HBV infections, 0.05–1.30 HCV infections and 0.04–0.32 HIV infections per 100 sharps injuries per year. The related societal costs had a mean of €272, amounting to a mean of €1,966 if the source patient was HIV positive with HBV and HCV co-infections.
Conclusion: Sharps injuries remain a frequent threat amongst HCWs. The follow-up and treatment of sharps injuries and the deriving consequences represent a signiﬁcant cost factor.