PURPOSE: Little is known about the incidence and nature of sharps injuries caused by subdermal intraoperative neurophysiologic monitoring (IONM) needle electrodes. In their institution, the authors observed a series of sharps injuries attributed to placement of needles in the orbicularis oris (OO).METHODS: One large academic institution's sharps injury monitoring database was queried for all reported events over 3 years. The de-identified list was filtered for sharps events occurring in the operating room, and the descriptions of the sharps injuries were individually evaluated. Interventions were performed to attempt to decrease the number of sharps injuries from IONM needles, particularly those placed in OO. Similar data were then collected for 3 months post-intervention.RESULTS: Pre-intervention, 327 sharps injuries were reported over the span of 3 years, of which 13 (4.0%) were attributed to IONM needles not in OO and 5 (1.5%) were attributed to IONM needles in OO. Post-intervention, 41 sharps injuries were reported in 3 months, of which 5 (12.2%) were attributed to IONM needles not in OO and 1 (2.4%) was attributed to needles in OO.CONCLUSIONS: The placement of subdermal needles in the OO presents a disproportionately high risk of sharps injury. Interventions were performed to attempt to decrease the rate of sharps injuries from needles in OO; the post-intervention increase in events was likely skewed by small sample sizes. The implementation of these changes and the ongoing surveillance of injury cases may be important data to help decrease the number of sharps injuries attributed to IONM needles.
View details for DOI 10.1097/WNP.0000000000000835
View details for PubMedID 33675313