Prevalence of needle stick injuries and their underreporting among healthcare workers in the department of obstetrics and gynaecology


  • Kavitha Nagandla International Medical University
  • Krishna Kumar
  • Amit Bhardwaj
  • Devalagan a/l Muthalagan
  • Chan Yhmin
  • Lee Wei Lun
  • Weng Wei Shi
  • Nurul Izzati B. Abd Razak



Underreporting needle stick and sharps injuries, healthcare workers, medical students, Knowledge, awareness and perception of risk of NSSIs, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department.


Introduction: Needle stick and sharp injuries (NSSIs) are hazardous and are frequently reported injuries among health care workers (HCW). These injuries expose them to infectious disease pathogens such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV that can be lethal. The physicians, nurses, medical students and other healthcare workers are highly susceptible to needle stick injuries. Standard precautions are available for all the workers and students’ safety purposes. Every incident is compulsory to be reported but some are under-reported. This represents a missed opportunity for initiating post exposrure prophylaxis, early detection of seroconversion and implementation of prevention strategies.
Objectives: Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department is one of the department estimated as high risk of sharp injuries. The objective of the study is to identify the prevalence of needle stick and sharps injuries (NSSIs) and the rate of under-reporting to occupational health services. It also aims to explore the reasons for under-reporting and the knowledge, awareness and perception of risk of needle stick injuries in Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of two teaching hospitals in Malaysia.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of 194 respondents involving all the healthcare workers and students (Specialists, Medical Offiers, House offiers, Nurses, Medical assistants, Medical students and nursing students) from Obstertrics and Gynaecology wards in two teaching hospitals who are willing to participate were included. A structured questionnaire was used as the survey instrument. By using statistical analysis, we compared the data of sociodemographics of health workers, injury information, knowledge on risk of needle stick injury and risk perception on needle stick injury.

Results: Out of 194 respondents, a total of 19(9.8%) respondents sustained needle stick injury. The prevalence was highest among medical student, 42.1%(n=8). Among the 19 cases, 36.8% did not report the incident due to perceived low risk of Hepatitis B/Human Immuno defiiency virus infection (42.9%), and that it was not important to report the incident (28.6%).

Conclusion: There is a fair understanding of Universal Work Precaution among the HWCs in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in both the hospitals. However, there still exist a large gap between their knowledge, attitude and practice of the universal work precaution. As noted in the study, the highest prevalence of needle stick injury and its’ under-reporting is among medical students. Therefore, exposure prevention among the students must be an institutional
concern, although every student must be aware of their responsibility for this prevention. Completion of three doses of Hepatitis B must be reiterated and HWCs must also be aware of their antibody status.






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