Nurses Warned of Health Risks

With focus on COVID-19, nurses warned not to be complacent about their biggest ongoing health risk: sharps injuries.

Brisbane, Australia, December 03, 2020 --( With elective surgery resuming and the massive backlog caused by the pandemic starting to clear, a leading global medical safety expert has called for nurses to not let the focus on COVID-19 precautions take their attention from another important safety issue.

Dr Michael Sinnott, co-founder of Australia-based medical safety innovator Qlicksmart, said during the pandemic non-urgent elective surgery ground to a halt, with the national backlog of patients running into hundreds of thousands*.

Now that surgery is back up and running, nurse safety should be a priority.

“Nurses have a right to safety on the job. It’s definitely important that they are focused on and have the right COVID-19 protections, but it’s also vital they don’t lose sight of sharps safety, which causes 18,000 injuries** each year in Australia,” Dr Sinnott said.

Dr Sinnott is a world leader in healthcare safety research, particularly staff safety.

A number of countries have legislated safety changes based on his research, and he has 35 years’ clinical medicine experience mostly in Queensland hospital emergency departments.

“Despite improvements in hospital systems and despite safety products like BladeFLASK scalpel blade removers being available, many Australian hospitals still do not have adequately resourced safety programs in place for their nursing staff,” Dr Sinnott said.

“18,000 sharps injuries are reported in Australia each year and we believe this is a massive underestimate, as many nurses are too embarrassed to report these injuries.

“Each of the nurses in those 18,000 reported cases would have months of worry and testing to ensure they have not contracted bloodborne infections such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.”

Aussie innovation now used in 50 countries

Qlicksmart is an international healthcare company headquartered in Australia that exports medical safety devices and digital compliance solutions to more than 50 countries.

Dr Sinnott said Qlicksmart’s medical safety innovations are being exported to a growing market in the US and UK, and to emerging markets such as South America and Central America.

Qlicksmart is a healthcare safety innovator established in 1999 by two Australian physicians to combat scalpel cuts in hospitals. Our award-winning safety devices are used in more than 50 countries worldwide. We work with innovators from the international healthcare sector to commercialise and deliver safety solutions for the overlooked concerns of nurses, surgeons and healthcare facilities. The team also provides safety and regulatory consultancy services to governments and healthcare institutions, including procurement evaluation tools, safety education programs and staff training.

*Statistics from the Australian Patients Association **Statistics from the Medical Technology Association of Australia

Media contact: Kathryn Britt, Cicero Communications 0414 661 616
Josef Solidum