444. Needlestick Injuries among Employees at a Nationwide Retail Pharmacy Chain, 20002011
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Occupational Health
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Room: SDCC Poster Hall F-H
  • dePerio 34230 needlesticks poster.pdf (376.6 kB)
  • Background: An increasing proportion of vaccinations are taking place in nonmedical settings, which include retail pharmacies. We determined the annual incidence of needlestick injuries (NSI) among employees in a large retail pharmacy chain, which operated 805 in-store pharmacies in 25 states and employed 2,150 immunizing pharmacists.  

    Methods: We obtained the company’s centralized NSI reports from all pharmacy locations and characterized the circumstances surrounding these reported injuries. We calculated annual incidence of NSIs using two methods: by dividing the total number of NSIs reported during a given year by (1) the total number of vaccinations administered by the company during that same year and (2) the total number of immunizing pharmacists employed by the company during that same year. We excluded injuries involving lancet needles in our incidence calculations.

    Results: From 2000–2011, 33 NSIs were reported to the company’s centralized database by 31 different pharmacy locations. During that same time period, the company administered 2,072,158 vaccinations. Numbers of NSIs ranged from 0–14 per year, and 24 (73%) occurred form September through January. Injury was most commonly reported after use and before disposal of the needle (58% of injuries). Thirty injuries (91%) involved a finger. Five injuries (15%) occurred with a lancet needle, while 28 (85%) occurred with a syringe needle. The annual incidence of NSIs ranged from 0–3.62 per 100,000 vaccinations and ranged from 0–5.65 per 1,000 immunizing pharmacists.

    Conclusion: Pharmacists who have the added responsibility of administering vaccinations have become an emerging occupational group at risk of NSIs. But, the incidence of NSIs in this group appears to be lower than that found in the hospital setting. We recommended that employees continue to follow safe work practices and promptly report all NSIs. We also recommended that the company obtain additional surveillance information on the circumstances of each injury in order to better determine factors contributing to these injuries and to evaluate the safety of devices.

    Marie de Perio, MD, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, OH


    M. de Perio, None

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