Global prevalence of percutaneous injuries among healthcare workers: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Author Identifier

Emmanuel O Adewuyi

ORCID : 0000-0002-4533-0340

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Epidemiology


Oxford University Press


School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Precision Health




Auta, A., Adewuyi, E. O., Tor-Anyiin, A., Edor, J. P., Kureh, G. T., Khanal, V., ... Adeloye, D. (2018). Global prevalence of percutaneous injuries among healthcare workers: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Epidemiology, 47(6), 1972-1980. https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyy208


Background Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at risk of occupational exposure to blood-borne pathogens through contact with human blood and other body fluids. This study was conducted to estimate the global and regional 1-year prevalence of percutaneous injuries (PCIs) among HCWs. Methods We systematically searched EMBASE, PubMed, CINAHL and PsychInfo databases for studies published from January 2008 to January 2018 that reported the prevalence of PCIs among HCWs. A random-effects meta-analysis was conducted to estimate pooled prevalence of PCIs among HCWs. Results Of the 5205 articles identified, 148 studies from 43 countries met the inclusion criteria. The pooled global 1-year prevalence estimate of PCIs was 36.4% [95% confidence interval (CI): 32.9–40.0]. There were substantial regional variations in the 1-year prevalence of PCIs, ranging from 7.7% (95% CI: 3.1–12.4) in South America to 43.2% (95% CI: 38.3–48.0) in Asia. The estimates for Africa and Europe were comparable with values of 34.5% (95% CI: 29.9–39.1) and 31.8% (95% CI: 25.0–38.5), respectively. The highest 1-year prevalence by job category was among surgeons, at 72.6% (95% CI: 58.0–87.2). The estimates for medical doctors (excluding surgeons), nurses (including midwives) and laboratory staff (including laboratory technicians) were 44.5% (95% CI: 37.5–51.5), 40.9% (95% CI: 35.2–46.7) and 32.4% (95% CI: 20.9–49.3), respectively. PCIs commonly occurred among HCWs working in hospital (41.8%, 95% CI: 37.6–46.0) than non-hospital (7.5%, 95% CI: 5.9–9.1) settings. Conclusions Our findings suggest high rates of PCIs among HCWs with direct patient care across many regions of the world. However, paucity of data from some countries was a major limitation.



Access Rights


Research Themes


Priority Areas

Safety and quality in health care