Best practice for needlestick injuries

  • S. Wicker
  • F. Walcher
  • S. Wutzler
  • C. Stephan
  • I. Marzi
Review Article



Needlestick injuries (NSIs) are a significant health hazard. Occupational transmission of bloodborne pathogens among healthcare workers (HCWs) is rare but has been repeatedly reported in the literature.


In October 2010, new regulations were introduced for medical aftercare of HCWs following NSIs at the University Hospital Frankfurt. In June 2013, a university hospital-wide early intervention program was introduced that gives HCWs immediate 24/7/365 access to an HIV postexposure prophylaxis kit after confirmed or probable occupational HIV exposure.


Interdisciplinary collaboration between the attending surgeon and occupational health as well as infectious disease specialists facilitates optimal postexposure medical treatment of HCWs who suffer NSIs. Complete reporting of NSIs is a prerequisite for achieving optimal treatment of the affected HCWs.


An NSI is an emergency and needs to be evaluated immediately and, if necessary, treated as soon as possible. A standardized algorithm for initial diagnostic and treatment has proven to be helpful.


Needlestick injury Occupational infection  HIV Hepatitis Postexposure prophylaxis  


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Wicker
    • 1
  • F. Walcher
    • 2
  • S. Wutzler
    • 2
  • C. Stephan
    • 3
  • I. Marzi
    • 2
  1. 1.Occupational Health ServiceUniversity Hospital FrankfurtFrankfurt am MainGermany
  2. 2.Department of Trauma, Hand- and Reconstructive SurgeryUniversity Hospital FrankfurtFrankfurt am MainGermany
  3. 3.Department of Medicine II, Infectiology, HIV TherapyUniversity Hospital FrankfurtFrankfurt am MainGermany

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