Sharps injuries and splash exposures among healthcare workers in Arab countries: Protocol of a systematic review and meta-analysis

Ibtisam Karkaz, Iffat Elbarazi, Linda Ostlundh, Marília Silva Paulo, Mohamud Sheek-Hussein,, Rami H. Al-Rifai, Balázs Ádám

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction Sharps injuries, including needlestick injuries and splash exposures, constitute serious occupational health problems for healthcare workers, carrying the risk of bloodborne infections. However, data on such occupational incidents and their risk factors in healthcare settings are scarce and not systematically summarised in the Arab countries. The aim of this study is to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to review published literature about sharps injuries and splash exposures of healthcare workers in Arab countries, with the objectives to determine the incidence and/or prevalence of these events, their identified risk factors and the applied preventive and postexposure prophylactic measures. Methods and analysis The protocol is developed in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Protocol guidelines. A comprehensive presearch developed in January to March 2021 in the database PubMed will be followed by a systematic search of six, core medical and health science databases: PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, CINAHL, Web of Science and Africa-Wide Information in May 2021. The search will be performed without any filters or restrictions for publication years. Covidence systematic review tool will be used for document management, blinded screening and study selection. Two reviewers will independently screen the records, extract data and conduct risk of bias assessment. Results will be synthesised narratively in summary tables, and, if findings allow, meta-analysis will be conducted on the incidence and/or prevalence of sharps injuries and splash exposures, and on the effect size of risk factors. Ethics and dissemination The systematic review methodology does not require ethics approval due to the nature of the study design based only on published studies. The results of the systematic review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal, disseminated to stakeholders and made publicly available. PROSPERO registration number CRD42021242416.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere052993
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 7 2021


  • health & safety
  • infection control
  • occupational & industrial medicine
  • preventive medicine
  • public health
  • risk management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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