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AORN Endorses Call to Action on Sharps Safety

Publish Date: 3/28/2012

AORN has endorsed a Consensus Statement and Call to Action issued by the International Healthcare Worker Safety Center at the University of Virginia and the American Nurses Association. The statement recognizes that while substantial progress has been made in reducing needlesticks and blood exposures among healthcare workers, preventable sharps injuries and blood exposures continue to happen in U.S. healthcare settings.

The statement identifies five key areas as crucial to making further progress in reducing sharps injuries to healthcare workers:

  1. Improving sharps safety in surgical settings, particularly during instrument passing and after use; 
  2. Understanding and reducing exposure risks in non-hospital settings 
  3. Involving front-line healthcare workers in the selection of safety devices
  4. Addressing gaps in safety devices, and encouraging innovating designs and technology 
  5. Enhancing worker education and training

“Needlestick injuries are preventable and cannot be tolerated as a cost of doing business. Healthcare organizations are charged with ensuring safety and preventing harm – to patients, employees and the public. Unfortunately, needlesticks still occur, whether from lack of education and training, complacency or frugality,” said ANA President Karen A. Daley, PhD MPH RN FAAN, in ANA’s March 8, 2012 press release announcing the call to action.

AORN joins multiple nursing and other specialty organizations in endorsing the Consensus Statement and Call to Action. AORN members have access to additional information on sharps safety and AORN’s Sharps Safety Tool Kit, which includes AORN’s guidance statement on sharps safety and sample policies and procedures for your facility.

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