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February/March 2012 (vol. 08/5)

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Research Plus

Blunt suture needles

A Cochrane systematic review and meta-analyses finds high-quality evidence that blunt suture needles reduce both glove puncture and actual needlestick injuries. Ten randomised controlled trials – from Europe and the US – comprised a total of 2,961 participating surgeons. Glove perforation occurred once every three operations with sharp needles, and once in every six with blunt needles (relative risk = 0.46; 95% confidence interval 0.38–0.54). Self-reported percutaneous injuries, assessed in four studies, were reduced by 70% (RR = 0.31; CI 0.14–0.68). Blunt needles were generally rated as acceptable, though more difficult to use.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, issue 11. Article no: CD009170.

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Occupational Health at Work February/March 2012 (vol. 08/5) pp40