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Needlestick Facts

Fact: Needlestick injuries can cost an employer anywhere from $500 to $3000 each, with most estimates falling between $500 and $1000 when needlesticks do not result in hepatitis B or HIV infections.

Fact: Almost 600,000 needlesticks occur each year among our nation's 5.6 million health care workers.

Fact: Between 39% and 46% of needlesticks are never reported.

Fact: One CDC study showed phlebotomy injuries decreased by 76% with a self-blunting needle, 66% with a hinged needle shield, and 23% with a sliding-shield, winged-steel (butterfly-type) needle.

Fact: Once stuck, a health care worker faces a significant risk of infection. For hepatitis B, the rate of infection is 3.5 out of 100; for HIV it is 1 out of 250.

Fact: Each year, HIV, hepatitis and other bloodborne diseases infect more than 18,000 health care workers. More than 250 health care workers die from these infections.

Fact: Another study showed phlebotomy injuries reduced by 82% with a needle shield, but a recapping device had minimal impact.

Fact: Between 1985 and June 1999, cumulative totals of 55 "documented" cases and 136 "possible" cases of occupational HIV transmission to health care workers were reported to CDC.

Fact: More than 87% of hospitals use needleless IV access lines, but self-sheathing needles are used in only about 40%.

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