What would you do if you had a needle-stick injury while out enforcing?

This week we are sad to report that one of our certificated enforcement agents dealt with a case that could of been life changing.

During a routine job, he was injected by a used needle when moving items.  This could happen to any of us and serves as a reminder that we must always be aware of our surroundings and work smartly, as much as possible.

Luckily, on this occasion, the doctors have given him the all clear.  But this raises the question for all of our team busy enforcing across the UK, what would you do if this happened to you?

Assess your Injury

Is your skin pierced?  Are you bleeding?  If you answer YES to both these questions the NHS states: you need to follow this first aid advice immediately:
• encourage the wound to bleed, ideally by holding it under running water
• wash the wound using running water and plenty of soap
• don’t scrub the wound while you’re washing it
• don’t suck the wound
• dry the wound and cover it with a waterproof plaster or dressing

Seek Urgent Medical Advice

You must seek urgent medical advice as you may need treatment to reduce the risk of getting an infection go to the nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department.

The healthcare professional treating you will assess the risks to your health and ask about your injury – for example:

  • How and when it happened, or who had used the needle.
  • Samples of your blood may need to be tested for hepatitis B and C or HIV.
  • Although rare, there is also a small risk of other infections being transmitted via contaminated blood, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein-Barr virus.

Will I need any treatment?

If your healthcare professional thinks you’re at low risk of infection, you may not need any treatment.  If there’s a higher risk of infection, you may need:

  • Antibiotic treatment – for example, if you have cellulitis (infection of the skin)
  • Vaccination against hepatitis B
  • Treatment to prevent HIV
  • If there’s a high risk of infection with HIV, your healthcare professional may consider treatment called post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

What are needle-stick injuries?

Once someone has used a needle, viruses in their blood such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV may contaminate it. This includes needles used to inject illegal drugs.

How do you protect yourself when enforcing?

When you are enforcing on a daily basis, you can get too familiar with your surroundings and forget the dangers involved in cases like trespasser / squatter removals where you are dealing with those less fortunate who maybe have drug addictions.
Absolute Enforcement always promote safety first and recommend that our enforcement agents, speak to there GP and ensure that they are up-to-date with all of their vaccinations. Also that the agents use needle and cut resistant gloves when searching and moving items.

Work for us!

We are currently recruiting Certificated Enforcement Agents to support our rapidly growing list of high-profile clients.  If you think you could add value to our expert team and want to be considered as part of the next phase of our recruitment and training commencing 1st April 2018 contact Tina on 0300 302 1010 today or email jobs@absoluteenforcement.com.