Childrens Hospital Adopts New Technology to Enhance Employee Safety

Birmingham, Ala. -- As part of its ongoing efforts to enhance and maintain employee on-the-job safety, Children’s Health System has implemented the use of new technology to reduce the risk of accidental needlesticks. Needlesticks in healthcare workers are not uncommon when injections are given, blood is collected or intravenous lines are started.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 384,325 injuries from needlesticks occur in U.S. hospitals every year. Many of those injuries are infections from bloodborne pathogens including hepatitis C and HIV. The newest devices retract the needle prior to removal from the patient’s vein so that the needle is sheathed and poses no risk of accidental puncture.

“Working in the healthcare environment presents an increased risk of exposure to blood and body fluids,” said Jenny Mahaffey, RN, BSN, CPN of Children’s Hospital’s infection prevention and control department. “Anything we can implement to provide a safer work environment, such as incorporating safety devices, is an important step in helping to reduce exposure to bloodborne pathogens.”

In recognition of Children’s efforts to providing the safest possible work environment for its employees, BD Diagnostics-Preanalytical Systems today presented the hospital with the BD Safety Recognition Award. Chris Tant made the presentation to Brenda Vason, director of the hospital’s infection prevention and control department.

The Children’s Hospital of Alabama is the 10th busiest pediatric medical center in the United States. Located in Birmingham, Children’s is one of only about 45 freestanding acute-care hospitals of its kind in the nation and the only hospital in Alabama dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children