The majority of medical students have been stuck by needles, with many not reporting the incidents that can be a danger to doctors and patients.

Research by Johns Hopkins University in the US found 59% of the medical school graduates training to become surgeons at 17 medical centres in the US had been stuck by a needle at some point during medical school.

The study said surgical students are frequently stuck by needles but they are not reported.

An estimated 800,000 needlestick incidents are reported by healthcare workers each year but doctors say the majority of such cases are not reported, putting hospital patients in danger.