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Unformatted text preview: OSHA], 2001). Registered nurses working at the bedside
sustain an overwhelming majority of these injuries (Perry, Parker, & Jagger, 2003).
These exposures carry the risk of infection with Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV),
and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. Each of these
viruses poses a different risk if a health care worker is exposed. More than 20 other
infections can be transmitted through needlesticks, including syphilis, malaria, and herpes
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 1998a). At least 1,000 health care
workers are estimated to contract serious infections annually from needlestick and sharps
injuries (International Health Care Worker Safety Center, 1999).
According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the
design of the device can increase the risk of injury. Specific features make certain
devices more dangerous. These include: (National Institute for Occupational Safety and
Health [NIOSH], 1999).
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