Costs associated with sharps injuries in the Swedish health care setting and potential cost savings from needle-stick prevention devices with needle and syringe

Glenngård et al.

The number and costs associated with reported sharps injuries in Swedish hospitals and the potential cost offset by introducing safety devices with needle and syringe was estimated from a health care perspective. Data about reported sharps injuries were collected from infection control nurses at 18 Swedish hospitals and information about the procedures following such injuries from doctors at Swedish hospitals and published articles. Unit costs were derived from the Southern Regional Health Care Board, SEK 2007. On average, 3.14 injuries per 100 full-time equivalent positions are reported
annually in Swedish health care. Approximately 60% involves hollow-bore needles. The cost of occupational sharps injuries in Sweden was estimated at t1.8 million (SEK 16.3 million) or t272 (SEK 2513) per reported injury, of which t1 million was for hollow-bore sharps injuries. The expected number of injuries that could be avoided by introducing safety devices was estimated at 3125 injuries and the corresponding expected cost offset at t850,000. Most costs are associated with investigation as opposed to treatment. The cost per reported injury in Sweden seems to be lower than in other EU countries and the US, due to more thorough investigation and treatment procedures in countries with confirmed transmission of pathogens to healthcare workers.

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