14 Disturbing Statistics About Bloodborne Pathogens

Posted by Selin Hoboy on Tue, Jul 16, 2013 @ 08:48 AM

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It’s well known that unsafe injection practices and sharps injuries can lead to the transmission of bloodborne pathogens, such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). But these 14 stats may surprise you.


1.  Since 2001, US outbreaks from unsafe injection practices when administering medical products have GROWN substantially according to the CDC.

MMWR 2013

2.  In a single year, an estimated 20 million people, globally, acquired HBV infections from unsafe MEDICAL injections.

MMWR 2013

3.  Despite the CDC’s “One and Only” campaign, the REUSE of syringes (via intravenous tubing and needle only changes) between patients still occurs in the United States.

MMWR 2013

4.  Risks may go unreported; 35 hepatitis OUTBREAKS from healthcare settings were reported to the CDC from 2008 to 2012.

CDC.gov 2013

5.  One outbreak can affect THOUSANDS of people; 35 outbreaks resulted in the notification of more than 100,000 people who needed to be tested for hepatitis.

CDC.gov 2013

6.  Of the CDC-reported viral hepatitis infections, 94% of healthcare-associated outbreaks occurred in NONHOSPITAL settings.

CDC.gov 2013  

7.  In long-term care facilities, 87% of hepatitis B outbreaks occurred during ASSISTED blood glucose monitoring.

CDC.gov 2013

8.  Although it was initially thought that 3287 patients did NOT need to be notified of reuse of single-use propofol vials by an anesthesiologist during endoscopy — a second patient index case of HBV was subsequently reported to the health department.

MMWR 2012

9.    Although HBV, HCV, and HIV are frequent focuses of sharps injuries and unsafe injection practices, MORE THAN 20 types of bloodborne pathogens have been identified as having been transmitted by those means.

Davis et al, 2012

10.  Healthcare workers often do NOT report their sharps injuries; estimates of underreporting are 22% to 99%.

Davis et al, 2012

11.  MORE THAN HALF of all nurses will experience at least one needlestick during his/her career.

Rohde et al, 2013

12.  The American College of Surgeons (ACS) recommends the use of blunt-tip suture needles to reduce needlestick injuries, but FEWER than 10% of surgeons use them at least 75% of the time.

Welc et al, 2013

13.  In larger hospitals, PHYSICIANS accounted for the biggest segment (46%) of healthcare worker sharps injuries.

Davis et al, 2012

14.  Among phlebotomists, 22% of sharps injuries occurred during or after DISPOSAL — often resulting from over-filled sharps containers; the CDC recommends that these containers be replaced when they are 2/3 to 3/4 full.

MMWR 2012

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Topics: Stericycle, Sharps Disposal, Bloodborne Pathogens, Bloodborne Pathogens Training, Needlesticks

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