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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 51-54

Reducing needlestick injuries in the operating room: Efficacy of wound closure with operative Armour™ as compared with traditional methods

1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA
2 Duke University School of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA
3 Division of Foot and Ankle Surgery, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Eliana Saltzman
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3000, Durham, NC 27710
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/DORJ.DORJ_7_19

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Introduction: Sharp injuries continue to pose a significant safety issue in the clinical setting with 385,000 injuries occurring annually among the United States health-care workers. In the operating room (OR), a majority of the needlestick injuries are due to frequent passing of contaminated needles. Operative Armour™ is a novel arm guard enabling surgeons to independently self-secure and self-dispose needles. We hypothesized that the use of Operative Armour™ as compared to the standard technique of sequentially passed needles would reduce the number of sutures passes. Methods: A 12 cm incision was made through an anterior and posterior approach to the ankle in three cadavers. In Group A (standard technique), 2-0 vicryl suture was used. In Group B (Operative Armour™), 2-0 vicryl suture packs, containing five sutures, were used. Three participants completed three trials for each group. Outcomes included wound closure time and the number of dropped and passed needles. Results: Wound closure time for Group A was 16:35 ± 0.2 min and 16:33 ± 0.1 min for Group B (P > 0.05). No needles were dropped in either group. Suture passes averaged 52 ± 8.9 in Group A compared to 5.3 ± 0.7 in Group B (P < 0.05). There were 24 needle handoffs in Group A, while in Group B, only three suture packs were passed. Conclusions: Use of the Operative Armour™compared to the standard technique demonstrated a statistically significant decreased number of suture passes but no change in total closure time. Given the large reduction in suture passes, the use of the Operative Armour™ could lead to a significant reduction in the number of needlesticks in the OR during wound closure. Clinical Significance: Compared to current standard techniques, the use of Operative Armour™ could increase safety in the OR by decreasing the number of suture passes. By reducing the demands on the surgical technician, this device could also decrease OR turnaround time and enhance overall efficiency.

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