Safe instruments can provide effective protection against needle-prick injuries in the health services. This is the conclusion of a joint project conducted by the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), the BG responsible for the health and welfare services (BGW) and the Federation of Institutions for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention (HVBG), which examined the prevention of such injuries. Employees in health professions are exposed to a particular health risk owing to their contact with sharp and pointed objects. Devices employing safety technology in which the cannulas are shrouded or blocked once they have been used on the patient could provide effective protection for employees against infections such as hepatitis B and C, and AIDS. The use of such devices is also required by BG rule/TRBA 250, which was revised in the summer of 2006. The rule governs biological materials in the health and welfare services, including those for rescue services and accident and emergency departments.
The project results have now been compiled in a report entitled "Effectiveness of measures to prevent needlestick injuries among employees in health professions". The report is available in German and in English. The report is also available as a brochure which can be ordered free of charge from: firstname.lastname@example.org.