Patients continue to enter home healthcare ''sicker and quicker," often with complex health problems that may require extensive nursing care. This increases the risk of needlestick injuries in home healthcare nurses. While very few studies have focused on the risks of home healthcare, it is the fastest growing healthcare sector in the U.S. In a recent study, led by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, the rate of needlestick-type injuries was 7.6 per 100 nurses.
At this rate, the scientists estimate that there are nearly 10,000 such injuries each year in home care nurses.
The findings were published in the September 2009 issue of American Journal of Infection Control.