THE SENATE                           S.R. NO.              50
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                    SENATE  RESOLUTION

  REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, THE HAWAII HEALTH SYSTEMS
    CORPORATION, THE HAWAII NURSES' ASSOCIATION AND THE
    UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII SCHOOL OF NURSING TO DEVELOP A PLAN
    THAT WILL ELIMINATE OR GREATLY REDUCE NEEDLESTICK INJURIES
    INCURRED BY NURSES AND OTHER HEALTH CARE WORKERS. 


 1        WHEREAS, nurses in bargaining unit 09 are acutely aware of
 2   the serious safety issue of needlestick injuries that can
 3   transmit various illnesses to nurses and other health care
 4   workers caring for patients in publicly operated hospitals,
 5   clinics, and community settings; and
 6   
 7        WHEREAS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
 8   Prevention, an estimated 800,000 needlestick injuries occur
 9   annually in the workplace, causing at least 1,000 serious
10   illnesses and just under 100 deaths from bloodborne pathogens
11   like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or the human immunodeficiency
12   virus (HIV), which causes AIDS; and
13   
14        WHEREAS, nurses comprise twenty-four per cent of the cases
15   of HIV infection among health care workers known or thought to
16   have been infected on the job; and
17   
18        WHEREAS, injuries from needlesticks continue to be an
19   occupational hazard because of the frequency with which they
20   occur and the severe health effects they can produce, including
21   great psychological stress because of the threat of infection
22   after an exposure occurs; and
23   
24        WHEREAS, legislation was enacted in California last year
25   which requires all health care facilities in that state to use
26   safer needles by August 1, 1999, and similar legislation is
27   being considered in at least eight other states; and
28   
29        WHEREAS, infections from hepatitis B among health care
30   workers significantly declined since the Occupational Safety
31   and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its bloodborne pathogen
32   standard in 1991, so that the rate of hepatitis B infections is
33   now lower than the incidence rate for the general population;
34   and
35   
36        WHEREAS, OSHA recently collected information on strategies
37   that have been successfully implemented in the workplace to

 
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 1   reduce the likelihood of contaminated needle injuries through
 2   the use of safer medical devices; and
 3   
 4        WHEREAS, although safe needles exist today that have
 5   safety features such as protective shields over the needles or
 6   mechanisms that automatically retract the needle after use,
 7   most health care facilities continue to use unsafe needles; and
 8   
 9        WHEREAS, the State of Hawaii must take appropriate
10   measures to better protect nurses and other health care workers
11   from contaminated needles; now, therefore,
12   
13        BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twentieth Legislature
14   of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 1999, that the
15   Department of Health (DOH), the Hawaii Health Systems
16   Corporation (HHSC), the Hawaii Nurses' Association (HNA), and
17   the University of Hawaii (UH) School of Nursing develop a plan
18   of action to eliminate or minimize injuries from needles
19   through the use of safer medical devices and the evaluation and
20   modification of work practices to assure workplace safety; and
21   
22        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the DOH, HHSC, HNA, and the UH
23   School of Nursing, in developing a needlestick program
24   prevention plan, are requested to review similar plans and
25   policies in other states; and
26   
27        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the DOH, HHSC, HNA, and the UH
28   School of Nursing submit a report of their findings and
29   recommendations on the needlestick hazard, including any
30   proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than twenty
31   days before the convening of the Regular Session of 2000; and
32   
33        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
34   Resolution be transmitted to the Director of Health, the Chief
35   Executive Officer of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, the
36   Executive Director of the Hawaii Nurses' Association and the
37   Dean of the University of Hawaii School of Nursing.
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41                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________