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A 12-question survey designed to examine venepuncture techniques and instruction and uptake of hepatitis B vaccination was completed by 172 of the 275 medical students to whom it was distributed (a response rate of 62·5%). Seventy-five injuries were reported, at an average of 0·3 per student per year. Of the respondents, 63% resheathed needles after use, a practice frequently cited as a cause of needlestick injury. However, in this sample resheathing was not significantly associated with a higher or lower injury rate (χ = 2·07, P > 0·1). Of the respondents from the most recent intake, only 20 out of 57 had completed a course of hepatitis B vaccinations prior to the commencement of venepuncture duties. There was almost universal ignorance concerning the correct course of action following 'sharps' injury. Recommendations are made concerning hepatitis B vaccination and teaching strategies for medical students. © 1992. 2

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Hospital Infection

Publication Date





143 - 148