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Sharp instrument injuries among hospital healthcare workers in mainland China: a cross-sectional study

07 Sep 2017


To determine the prevalence of sharp instrument injuries in hospital-based healthcare workers (HCWs) in mainland China and the contributing factors.


Cross-sectional study.


The data were derived from public hospitals.


A total of 360 hospitals were recruited in the study, including 289 general hospitals and 71 specialised hospitals. Among them, 194 are tertiary-level hospitals and 166 are secondary level. The study population finally consisted of 223 149 hospital HCWs.

Primary outcome measures

A questionnaire was designed based on the aim of the study. Profession of HCWs, workplace, circumstance and medical apparatus and instrument were covered in the survey. HCWs completed a self-administered questionnaire regarding details of sharp instrument injuries within the previous month. Prevalence estimates for the injuries were calculated for the overall HCWs and for subgroups according to profession, workplace, circumstance or instrument.


Within the included HCWs, the prevalence of sharp instrument injuries was 0.08 per person-month. Only 4.6% of the HCWs reported to their hospitals after injury. The highest number of injuries occurred in nursing staff (10.3%). Injuries took place most frequently on general wards (44.5%). The circumstances that involved most frequent injuries include surgical needle insertion, removing an arteriovenous needle from a patient and recapping the needle. Single-use syringe caused more injuries incidents than other instruments.


These results indicate that sharp instrument injuries have become a major occupational problem of HCWs in mainland China. Attentions need to be paid to the issue and strategies for preventing such injuries are needed.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open