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Background: Medical students are at risk of needlestick injuries (NSIs) while performing obstetrical procedures especially perineorrhaphy, because of their less experience. This study aims to determine the incidence and causes of NSIs during perineorrhaphy and medical students’ attitudes toward occurrence reports.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted. After completion of Obstetrics & Gynaecology rotation, the data from final year medical students were collected using a self-administered questionnaire.
Results: Of 390 medical students, 290 (74.4%) returned questionnaires with complete data. The annual NSIs incidence during episiotomy was 26.9%. The most common site of injury was the index finger of the non-dominant hand (66.2%). Common causes of NSIs were time pressure (52.1%) and lack of surgical skills (50.7%). Nearly half of students (41%) did not report their occurrence, and 81.3% of injured students believed that NSIs were harmless.
Conclusion: The incidence of NSIs during perineorrhaphy and the non-reporting occurrence were quite high among medical students. Structural clinical supervision by medical staffs, HBV vaccination for all medical students, and instruction on standard pre-exposure precaution should be applied. We advocate a strategy plan for increasing students’ awareness and having a simple occurrence reporting system for NSIs, with clear guidelines on post-exposure protocols in all medical schools and teaching hospitals.
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