Safe in Common to Exhibit at Emergency Nurses Association Annual Conference
Non-Profit Will Exhibit as Part of Campaign to Raise Awareness and Support for Needlestick Safety and Safer Engineering Controls for Healthcare Personnel
SAN DIEGO, Sept. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Safe in Common (SIC), the non-profit organization of healthcare safety advocates dedicated to eradicating needlestick injuries, announced today it is taking part in the largest gathering of emergency room nurses during the Emergency Nurses Association Annual Conference from September 11-15 in San Diego, California.
Safe in Common is taking an active role in attending and exhibiting at conferences across the country to raise awareness surrounding the pervasiveness of needlestick injuries and the need for safer engineering controls. These concerns extend to the emergency room environment, where the majority of ENA conference attendees work. According to OSHA, 5.6 million U.S. healthcare personnel are at risk of occupational exposure to HIV, hepatitis C and other life-threatening bloodborne diseases transmitted via needlestick or sharps related injuries.
“Emergency nurses are frontline leaders in the healthcare community and they understand first-hand the dangers of needlestick and sharps-related injuries,” said Dr. Mary Foley, PhD, RN, Chairperson of Safe in Common. “Safe in Common is taking part in the ENA conference to support emergency nurses by helping them become advocates for the need to have the best possible working environments for themselves, their coworkers and their patients.”
Safe in Common will be at the event at booth #1046 where the Organization will provide insight into the simplest, safest technologies available so emergency nurses can work without the fear of contracting life-threatening diseases. During the conference, healthcare workers can engage with Safe in Common, learn more about how to join its mission, and sign the Needlestick Safety Pledge as a step toward preventing needlestick and sharps related injuries.
“The emergency room is a high stress environment with a high risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens,” Foley said. “The rates of reported injuries do not appear to be in decline because not enough is being done to get healthcare personnel the best devices with safety mechanisms.”
SIC also advocates for the active involvement of frontline personnel in the evaluation and selection of the best engineering devices for the procedures undertaken in the emergency setting. Those devices must also address the many populations served in the ED, from small children to geriatrics.
According to annual reports of hospital workers in Massachusetts, between 2002 and 2011 the rate of reported needlestick and sharps injuries in emergency rooms has remained consistently high over the last decade when OSHA was tasked with enforcing compliance with Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. Every year for the past 10 years, there are still between 250 and 311 needlestick and sharps reported injuries in emergency rooms in the Massachusetts data.
Safe in Common believes that all healthcare workers deserve access to the simplest, safest available technologies so that they can work within an environment that is free from the risks of life-changing needlestick injuries. SIC encourages government agencies to remain diligent in their enforcement and promotion of the Federal Needlestick Prevention and Safety Act (2000) until all occupational needlestick injuries are eradicated.
For more information about Safe in Common and the Organization’s ongoing work to raise awareness of needlestick safety and promote utilizing safer engineering controls that protect healthcare workers from unnecessary needlestick and sharps related injuries, please visit http://www.safeincommon.org.
About Safe in Common
Safe in Common is a non-profit organization established to enhance and save the lives of U.S. healthcare personnel at risk of harm from needlestick injuries. It is led by Chairperson Mary Foley, PhD, RN, former President of the American Nurses Association and other industry leaders. To learn more about the Needlestick Safety Pledge and its goal of promoting and strengthening the Federal Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, please visit www.facebook.com/safeincommon and follow Safe in Common on Twitter at www.twitter.com/safeincommon.
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