Needlesticks and sharps injuries are the most common form of occupational transmission of bloodborne pathogens. Although more than 250 healthcare workers die annually from occupationally acquired hepatitis B, it was only with the advent of AIDS, and more recently the adoption of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, that there has been a major focus on the prevention of needlestick and sharps injuries.
Started in 1990, the Training for Development of Innovative Control Technologies (TDICT) Project is a collaborative effort of line healthcare workers, product designers, and industrial hygienists dedicated to preventing exposure to blood through better design and evaluation of medical devices and equipment. TDICT is based at the Trauma Foundation, San Francisco General Hospital campus. Sites of investigation have included the Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, and general medical wards at San Francisco General, as well as the San Francisco Fire Department and Emergency Response. Current work is focused on the operating rooms at the University of California San Francisco, the dental operatories at the University of the Pacific, and various bay area home healthcare agencies.
The TDICT Project is directed by Dr. June Fisher, Occupational Health Physician, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, Senior Scientist at the Trauma Foundation, and Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University.
Funding for this project is provided through cooperative agreements with the HIV office of the Centers for Disease Control.