Preventing the Preventable
You know how the television series, The Walking Dead, begins with the main character waking up in a hospital overrun with zombies? What do you think caused the zombie outbreak? What if it were as simple as a sharps injury to a clinician or patient?
Every Halloween, we like to break out our educational, yet fun, comic about how Daniels Health prevented the zombie apocalypse. The real scare is that the danger of sharps injuries haunt healthcare throughout the year.
Now of course there is no scientific proof that zombies and sharps injuries are related, but there's also no evidence to show that they aren't… Much like a zombie outbreak, a sharps-injury could wreak severe emotional and physical damage on its victims. If you think of most movies or television series that feature the undead, there are always victims that do not report that they have been bitten or scratched by a zombie.
This fear of the unknown and isolation also happens in healthcare when sharps injuries go unreported. All clinicians are trained to report sharps injuries, but the emotional turmoil of potentially contracting an illness or the hesitation of being reprimanded by superiors stops them from speaking up.
And then there’s the unwarranted shame of a sharps injury. Someone may say to themselves, “Was it my fault? Will my boss fire me? I can’t afford lifelong medicine if I contracted something!”
Firstly, if you sustain a sharps injury – don’t be ashamed our guilt yourself. Report it immediately so that your facility, that should protect you, can treat you accordingly and make sure you’re safe.
Other things your site can do to further prevent sharps injuries from occurring, is invest in safer medical waste disposal solutions. Daniels Health is here to make sure that all healthcare facilities have the most innovative and secure healthcare waste disposal containers possible. In our ideal world, there would be no more sharps injuries... or zombies – ever!
You can even download & print this comic – it will easily pass as a fun, pop-culture or Halloween decoration!
It's not your fault
It’s always best to hear testimony straight form the source. Karen Daley will change how you view sharps injuries. You may think it won’t happen to you; statistically you’re safe, right?
Don’t expect to be the outlier – be vigilant. Educating yourself on how sharps injuries occur and how to prevent them could save your life or a teammates.
Karen is a former president of the American Nurses Association and needle stick injury survivor. Through her powerful testimony, she provides a recount of how her life was forever changed from a sharps-injury at the height of her young career. Following her injury, she had to learn how to continue life with a new challenge: HIV and Hepatitis C. Karen persevered and is now an avid champion for safety of healthcare workers and patients when it comes to sharps-related injuries. She has interviewed many clinicians who have often been ignored or even told that they injury was their own fault.
Slay Sharps Injuries - and Zombies
In some ways, Karen Daley is a zombie slayer. She protects the innocent and uses her voice to bring awareness to one of the silent-but-deadly workplace injuries in healthcare.
For more information on sharps injuries and what legislature has been passed to protect clinicians thus far, please see our blog around the history of sharps injuries. This piece in our knowledge center covers everything from when there were no safety precautions or legal protection in place for clinicians to the safety engineered devices that are required and encouraged now.
Even though there have been great strides towards increased safety, today it is estimated that over 300,000 needlestick injuries still occur in the United States. Help us get that number to zero.
Daniels Health has had one mission since we began over 30 years ago - to reduce the risk of sharps-related injuries to healthcare workers.
This motive further evolved to include being an advocate for continued education in healthcare, innovative safety solutions, and environmental sustainability. Our founder, Dan Daniels, saw the drastic, negative emotional and physical impact that sharps injuries had on clinicians and set out to make a marked difference.
We hope that Daniels Health can be a haven for all those in the medical community; whether it be for innovative products, educational resources, or simple safety solutions. Together, we can all increase safety in healthcare spaces and prevent the preventable.
Want to prevent zombies together? Let's talk!