Prevalence of Needle Stick Injuries and Utilization of Post Exposure Prophylaxis among Resident Doctors in a Tertiary Hospital in Port Harcourt, Nigeria – A Cross-Sectional Analytical Study


  • Irene Obuzor World Bank Centre of Excellence in Public Health and Toxicological Research
  • Nneka Gabriel-Job Department of Paediatrics, University of Port Harcourt



Needlestick injuries (NSIs) are percutaneous injuries sustained during delivery of medical care. They are occupational hazards faced by health workers and are a source of transmission of bloodborne pathogens.This study was aimed at determining the prevalence, utilization of post-exposure prophylaxis(PEP) and assessed the association between the sociodemographic, occupational factors, knowledge and attitude towards NSIs to its occurrence among the residents in a Tertiary hospital in Port Harcourt Nigeria.

Methods:  Descriptive cross-sectional analytical study design

Results: The study found a 53.8% prevalence of NSIs. Annual prevalence was 50.9%. The prevalence was significantly higher among senior residents (65.1%) (p=0.006), residents in Paediatrics (75.6%) (p<0.001), and among residents who had worked three years or more (65.7%) (p<0.001). The most frequently reported factors that predisposed to NSIs were excess workload (77.9%), insufficient consumables (72.6%) and long working hours (70.2%). 77.4% of residents recapped needles, 66.1% did not report NSIs. Only 8.9% of the residents utilized PEP after injury. In 51.8% of cases, the needle had been used on a patient prior to the injury. In 25.9% of these cases, the injury involved a high-risk patient (HIV, Hepatitis B or C infected). This study found a risk of transmission of HIV following a needle stick injury to be 0.48%.

Conclusion: Needlestick injuries are common among resident doctors. A large number of these injuries go unreported. The attitude toward preventive measures and use of PEP services is sub-optimal necessitating a need for more attention to be drawn to occupational health and safety in the region.


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