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The National Alliance for the Primary Preven-tion of Sharps Injuries (NAPPSI) has launched a two-pronged information initiative aimed at reducing or preventing needlestick injuries in health care settings. The Web site (www.NAPPSI.org) highlights information on needlestick prevention efforts, legislative and regulatory developments, and resources for companies and health care professionals. Members of NAPPSI’s speakers bureau are available to make free presentations to clinician organizations on primary prevention of sharps injuries.
Ron Stoker, NAPPSI executive director, describes primary prevention as "a technology or practice that actually eliminates or reduces the need to introduce a sharp implement into the health care workplace," such as the use of lasers to replace lancets used to draw blood, and catheter securement devices that eliminate the use of suture needles.
The alliance's real goal is to reduce the number of sharps in the workplace, thereby reducing the risk of more victims of accidental injuries, he adds.
"The speakers bureau and Web site are designed to highlight the effectiveness of primary prevention, which is like a vaccination against accidental needlesticks. Eliminate the needle, and you eliminate the risk," Stoker says. "Secondary prevention of sharps injuries, while valuable, consists of a technology or practice that only modifies a sharp implement so it is less likely to cause injuries."
In addition to the Web site and speakers bureau, NAPPSI plans an e-mail newsletter, organized outreach to legislators and regulators, and support of its members’ efforts to promote their own primary prevention technology and techniques.
Under the new Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, hospitals and other health care facilities will now be required to use the best technologies available to protect health care professionals from bloodborne pathogens such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. The requirements also stipulate that employees participate in the selection of safe needle devices, and that a log be maintained which lists each needle injury at the facility.