Mohammed and Reddy K V: Knowledge and practices of needle stick injury prevention among nursing personnel in a tertiary care teaching hospital in South India


A needle stick injury (NSI) is an accidental skin penetrating stab wound from a hollow bore needle containing another person’s blood or body fluid, leading to transmission of blood borne infections such as hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus.1

Nurses are the core care providers for patients in the hospital and thus have the highest rate of needle stick injury among all the health care workers.2

Why Nurses?

This is possibly be due to performance of invasive and non-invasive procedures to the patients besides injection administration more often than any other staff.3

Nurses working on hospitals with lower staffing rates and high levels of emotional stress and exhaustion related to their jobs had significantly higher likelihoods of needle stick injuries.4

It is estimated that the risk of contracting hepatitis B infection due to a needle prick injury is 100 times higher than that of contracting HIV.3 Most people at risk for occupational exposures are in developing countries where there is paucity of standard reporting protocol.5

Aim & Objectives

  1. To assess the knowledge of Needle stick injuries (NSI) among nursing staffs.

  2. To determine the practices of Needle stick injuries (NSI) prevention among nursing staffs and also to find out the prevalence and risk factors associated with NSI in our institute.


Study design

A cross sectional study was conducted by using a structured questionnaire derived from previously published literature from India, having close ended and multiple choice questions.

10 Questions in knowledge parameters and 15 questions in practice parameters were included

Informed verbal consent was taken prior to distribution of the self reporting Questionnaire and 100 nursing staffs were included.

Duration of study

1st January 2020 to 31st March, 2020 (3 months)

Place of study

Tertiary care teaching institute in south India.

Data analysis

Minitab software version 19 was used for data analysis


  1. Response rate was 80%

  2. Mean Age of the participants was 29.5±5 years

  3. Majority of them were female i e 97%

  4. Incidence of NSI was 45%

  5. Only 24% of the nurses were aware of definition of NSI

  6. About 90% of them were aware of the infections transmitted

  7. 85% of them were unaware of ‘no-recapping’ technique of disposal of needles

  8. 90% of them were aware of standard precautions,

  9. Overall knowledge was adequate among 65% nurses (>8 questions correct for knowledge parameters

  10. Only 35% nurses reported their NSI to the concerned physician after the incident

  11. 24% of them knew post exposure prophylaxis

  12. 98% of reported NSI were due to recapping of needles

  13. It was observed that educational qualification was significantly associated with recent NSI. GNM nurses had high chances of NSI injury compared to M.Sc. Nursing staff and it was found to be statistically significant.

  14. Disposable syringe needle (64.1%) was the most common device leading to NSI among the nurses.

  15. During rush (47% was the circumstance due to which NSI was frequent in occurrence

  16. 85% of the nurses recapped with both hands

  17. 90% of the nursing staffs reported fully vaccinated status against Hepatitis-B

  18. Only 56% of the nursing staffs were aware of post exposure prophylaxis after NSI

  19. Only 24% of them were aware of the blood tests required after an NSI from a known HBsAg positive patient.


In the present study, only 24% of the nurses were aware of definition of NSI i.e., they did not differentiate between harmful and harmless needle prick whereas 25.4% of the participants had adequate knowledge reported by Saravanan et al from Manipur, 2018.4 But in one study conducted by Zia M et al,2017, 77.1% of the participants had good knowledge.6

45% experienced needle stick injury in the past 6 months in this study. Similar findings were seen among nurses in other studies.

But in a study conducted by Ahmed AS in Egypt, there was a high prevalence of needle stick injuries among nurses of 55.93%.7

In this study 35% of nurses reported NSI to their physician. Similar finding was noted by Kruger WH et al.8 But, in Gujarat a study by Shale R et al, the response rate was low (8.3%).9


Recapping of needles (98%) was one of the main procedures that caused NSIs as compared to securing IV line (21%).

Although 90% of the nursing staff were aware of standard precautions but in practice 98% of the needle stick injuries occurred due to recapping.

85% Nurses recapped with both hands hands.

90% of the nursing staffs reported fully vaccinated status against Hepatitis-B.

Younger staff had better knowledge than older staffs but practice wise NSIs were more reported by younger staff.


Training of all the nursing staff both new and existing ones, towards Needle stick injury prevention.

Strict adherence to absolute "no-recapping" technique after using needles.

Scooping method with one hand to be promoted while recapping.

Mandatory testing of Anti HBS titre levels to all new staffs even if they say, they are fully vaccinated against Hepatitis-B at the time of joining.

Conflicts of interest

All contributing authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Source of Funding




G M Alwabr Knowledge and practice of needlestick injury preventive measures among nurses of Sana'a city hospitals in YemenIndian J Health Sci Biomed Res 201811170610.4103/kleuhsj.kleuhsj_175_17


K Saravanan Knowledge and Practices Of Needle Stick Injuries Among Nurses In A Tertiary Care Hospital in Northeast India - A Cross Sectional StudyIOSR J Dent Med Sci (IOSR-JDMS)2018173727


D Kaur S Jaspal S S Bajwa Behavior, perception and compliance related to adoption of safety measures in response to needle stick injuries among nursing personnel at a tertiary care institute of North IndiaJ Sci Soc 201441132710.4103/0974-5009.126743


D Gupta S Saxena V K Agrawal M Singh S Mishra Study of knowledge, attitude and practice of needle stick injury among nurses in a tertiary care hospitalInt J Community Med Public Health20196286510.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20190221


A S Ahmed Needle stick and sharp injuries among Nurses at Zagazig University Hospitals, Sharkia Governorate, EgyptMiddle East J Appl Sci 201444120511


M Zia M Afzal H Sarwar A Waqas S A Gilari Knowledge and Practices of Nurses about Needle Stick Injuries at Lahore HospitalSaudi J Med Pham Sci20173657181


A S Ahmed Needel stick and sharp injuries among Nurses at Zagazig University Hospitals, Sharkia GovernorateEgypt Middle East J Appl Sci201444120511


W H Kruger Jimoh So G Joubert Needle stick injuries among nurses in a regional hospital in South AfricaOccup Health Southern Africa2012183410


R Shale H K Mehta Nayak S Fancym B N Donga Knowledge and awareness regarding needle stick injuries among health care workers in teriary care hospital in Ahmedabad, GujaratNat J Comm Med201012936


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