2nd Ebola UK military HCW sustains sharps injury

Two military HCW have been repatriated to UK following sharps injuries (SI) while assisting with Ebola patients in West Africa. Both HCW were flown immediately to UK and are under hospital observation. Neither is symptomatic. My heart goes out to the two HCW and their families.

Two injuries in a week in well-trained staff attending high transmission-risk patients is alarming.

Ebola, like 60 other blood-borne pathogens, may be transmitted via the percutaneous route, particularly if unsafe injection practices are used . Likewise, Ebola may be acquired by laboratory workers following accidental sharps injury, the first being reported in 1977.

Rubinson tells of the ensuing emotional roller-coaster following an Ebola sharps injury in Sierra Leone.

How did the injuries occur? Difficult patient/procedure/environment? Lack or incorrect use of safety devices? Many of us would benefit from knowing these details. Hopefully they will be published.

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