Needlestick Injuries and Needle Disposal in Minnesota Nursing Homes

Kent Crossley, Joseph Thurn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We examined needle use and disposal, needlestick injuries and their management, and employee education regarding the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and needle use by means of a questionnaire sent to all long‐term care facilities certified for skilled care in Minnesota. Responses were received from 297 of 349 (85.1%) homes. Nearly all homes (271 of 293; 92.5%) provided education for new nursing employees about use and disposal of needles. Disposal of needles and sharps was generally consistent with current recommendations for short‐term care hospitals. Needlestick injuries were usually related to recapping and were most common in registered and licensed practical nurses but were infrequent (i.e., <1 injury per home per employee‐year) probably because parenteral therapy is infrequently used in long‐term care settings. Only slightly over half (166 of 286; 58%) of the homes had protocols for management of needlestick injuries. Although Minnesota nursing homes properly dispose of needles and sharps, many of these institutions need to develop policies for management of needlestick injuries that are consistent with current recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-796
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1990
Externally publishedYes


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