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How do I manage a needlestick injury?

Managing a needlestick injury

  •  Stay calm.
  •  Encourage the wound to bleed.
  •  Wash the area with running water and soap (if available).
  •  Apply an antiseptic and a band-aid.
  •  As soon as possible contact your: Supervisor; Local Doctor, Hospital; Sexual Health Clinic or Community Health Centre.
 Gamma globulin inoculation (for infection resistance) should be accessed within 24 hours of needlestick injury.
For advice on the need for HIV or HBV/HCV testing, counselling and possible Hepatitis inoculation.
For further information contact the Needlestick Injury Hotline 1800 804 823  (toll free number).

Disposal of sharps/used syringes

  • DO NOT recap the needle.
  • Obtain a ‘sharps container’ with a secure lid. A large used coffee tin appropriately labelled with a bold warning may be suitable if a dedicated ‘sharps  container’ is unavailable.
  • Bring the sharps container to the needle/syringe.
  • Place the sharps container on the ground next to the needle/syringe.
  • Remove the lid from the container, DO NOT HOLD the container upright in your hand as you are disposing of the needle/syringe.
  • Wearing non-porous gloves pick up the needle/syringe by using long handled tongs or a dustpan and broom.
  • Place the needle/syringe into the sharps container needle point down.
  • Securely fasten the lid onto the sharps container.
  • Remove gloves and wash hands well with soap and running water.
  • Sharps containers MUST NOT BE DISPOSED OF IN THE NORMAL WASTE DISPOSAL BINS.

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