Needle stick injury

Ouch! What a prick...For a First Aider, exposure to hypodermic syringes is a risk. Understanding the procedure to deal with a needle stick injury is important.
Image of someone who got their feet poked with a syringe in a park. The title of the blog is :Needlestick Injurt First Aid" followed by Life Saving First Aid logo

Table of Contents

Introduction

What is a needle stick injury?

If the skin is punctured by a sharp medical tool like a scalpel or needle on a syringe, it is called a ‘needlestick injury’.

Exposure to hypodermic syringes is a risk faced by First Aiders so an understanding of the procedures to deal with a needle stick injury is important.

How does needle stick injury happen?

Needlesticks don’t just happen in hospitals – stepping on a needle in park or on the beach is the same thing. Fortunately, infection by HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C in these situations is  rare.

According to the National Centre For Farmer Health, even farmers and agricultural workers experience preventable needlestick injuries. Every year, across Australia, 80% of livestock farmers reporting a needlestick injury at some time. This means the farmer may be injected with harmful chemicals.

Signs and Symptoms of needle stick injury

Victims of a needle stick injury usually feel a small, sharp pain at the needle stick point. The needle may stay in the finger, foot or wherever the injury occurred. A small drop of blood may appear.

Management

The recommended action to take is:

  1. Wash the area gently with soap and running tap water as soon as possible. – If not, available you can use hand sanitiser

2. Apply an antiseptic and a clean dressing to the injury area

4. Seek prompt medical advice from your local doctor or hospital emergency department, preferably within 24 hours.

5. Dispose of the needle safely.- In an identified sharps container, or you could put the needle in an empty plastic water bottle for later disposal in a sharp’s container.

Conclusion

While it is unlikely that you will encounter a needle stick injury, it is possible.

If you do, remember:

•            Wash, clean and cover the injury

•            Seek medical aid within 24hrs

•            Dispose of the needle safely and correctly.

This was a very short Article Post. If you found this one interesting, you can check out more here –https://lifesavingfirstaid.com.au/blog/

Well, that’s that. Until next time… Stay safe.

Share on
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Adrian Webb

Adrian joined Life Saving First Aid in 2019 following a 30-year career with the Airport Fire and Rescue Service, where he responded to numerous first aid calls and dangerous or hazardous incidents, keeping the airport community safe.

Since joining Life Saving First Aid, he has delivered First Aid training to over 20,000 students. Many of them have used this training to save a life!

You might also like

How to deal with a remote area first aid incident

How to deal with a remote first aid incident (Part 2)

Imagine you are travelling through remote parts of Australia, days from medical help, and there is a serious accident. You are the First Aider. Everyone turns to you. What are we going to do? – Good question. Read on for some guidance on actions you can take. (Reading time 8mins approx.)

Read More »
Remote area first aid part 1

Remote area first aid ( part 1)

Australian remote area survival: Do you know how to stay alive when it’s over 40°C in the shade and the next water could be more than 100 km away?

The secret is in the planning and preparation. Get that right and your chances of a safe journey increase. (reading time 7min)

Read More »
image contains the title of the blog "CPR on Women - Closing the Gap" Next to the title, illustrates a woman doing CPR to another woman with the logo of LIfe Saving First Aid

The CPR discrepancy.

All casualties that need CPR are treated the same right? Nope… Read on to learn the astonishing truth. Did you know there is a negative bias regarding the provision of CPR on women compared to men, by bystanders. We’re closing the Gap one rescue at a time – The CPR discrepancy. Read on. (Reading Time about 5 mins)

Read More »
the image contains a person bitten by a snake in the wilderness followed by Life Saving First Aid logo and the title of the blog "First Aid Checklist: The ultimate guide"

First Aid Kit Checklist: the ultimate guide

The importance of a First Aid Kit is often underrated. Having a fully stocked first aid kit handy and ready to go is a legal requirement for workplaces and a must for individuals.
So, read on to discover what your first aid kit should contain. (Reading time around 6 minutes)

Read More »
Image depicts a stylised illustration of a horse preparing to be injected with snake venom, infront of it, there is a hand holding the syringe with the antivenom. Title of the blog "How Antivenom is made" followed by Life Saving First Aid logo

How is antivenom made?

Australia. Home to most of the world’s most venomous snakes. Thanks to the early research, Australia is in a fortunate position. We have good antivenom. Combined with good ambulance service and a good hospital system they all work together to reduce the impact of venomous bites on our community. Also, Australia is the only country in the world that has snake venom detection kits… Just As well! ( Reading Time 5mins Approx)

Read More »