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A Need for Establishment of an Active System for Surveillance of Needle Stick Events in Health System

1 Middle East Liver Diseases (MELD) Center, Tehran, IR Iran
*Corresponding author: Seyed Moayed Alavian, Middle East Liver Diseases (MELD) Center, Tehran, IR Iran. Tel: +98-2188945186, Fax: +98-2188945188, E-mail: .
Avicenna Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infection. 2015 February; 2(1): e23551 , DOI: 10.17795/ajcmi-23551
Article Type: Letter; Received: Sep 11, 2014; Accepted: Oct 14, 2014; epub: Feb 14, 2015; ppub: Feb 2015

Keywords: Hepatitis B; Hepatitis C; Needle; workers

Dear Editor,

I read with interest the published article by Hashemi et al. in your journal recently (1). The authors reported a high rate of needle stick and sharps injuries (NSSIs) in their studied hospitals in Hamadan, Iran. The study groups were from different specialties in the hospitals. They showed that around 17% did not receive HBV vaccine and most of vaccinated ones did not check anti HBs antibody level yet (1). According to the standard precautions for infection control, all health care workers susceptible to infection should be identified and immunized to reduce the morbidity rate; thus evaluation of anti-HBs antibody level is mandatory (2, 3). The immunization scheme and did not have the test of seroconversion. It seems that health system is not aware and is not enough sensitive regarding this issue. Serological analysis revealed unprotecting levels of Ab even after students completed the vaccination schedule. Education, testing and vaccination against HBV infection should implement before initiation of work in clinics and hospitals (4). HCWs (healthcare workers), particularly those working in emergency departments, operating rooms and hemodialysis centers are considered as high risk groups. In addition to HBV infection, health care workers are occupationally at the risk of HCV infection (5). Unfortunately, there is no passive or active prevention for HCV infections and HCWs should be more cautious and apply the standard of health precautions at work. Finally, I suggest to establish an active system for reporting and integration of preventive strategies for better control of such issues in health care workers.

The authors reply:

We would like to thank Dr. Alavian for his comments on our article. The authors of this article also believe in stabilishment of an active system of tracking of NSSIs in the healthcare system. Furthermore, we believe there is a need for an increase of health personnel knowledge about actions that need to be taken after NSSIs. Even though Hepatisis B is a disease that can be prevented by active immunization prior to contact, however, the disease is still a threat due to incomplete vaccination coverage of hepatisis B among healthcare personnel as well as the lack of knowledge in relation to the effective steps following NSSIs.

Mojgan Mamani, M.D.

Brucella Research Centre, Department of Infectious Diseases, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran. E-mail: [email protected]


Funding/Support: This manuscript has been supported by Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.