Infections among health-care workers (HCWs) have been a common feature of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) since its emergence. The majority of these infections have occurred in locations where infection-control precautions either had not been instituted or had been instituted but were not followed. Recommended infection-control precautions include the use of negative-pressure isolation rooms where available; N95 or higher level of respiratory protection; gloves, gowns, and eye protection; and careful hand hygiene. This report summarizes a cluster of SARS cases among HCWs in a hospital that occurred despite apparent compliance with recommended infection-control precautions.
The risk of occupational exposures to blood cannot be eliminated completely and access to post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent HIV transmission is important. However, PEP administration has been associated with frequent adverse effects, low compliance and difficulties to ensure a proper risk assessment. This nationwide study describes 14 years of experience with the use of PEP following blood exposure in Denmark.
A descriptive study of all PEP cases following non-sexual exposure to HIV in Denmark from 1999-2012.
A total of 411 cases of PEP were described. There was a mean of 29.4 cases/year, increasing from 23 cases in 1999 to 49 cases in 2005 and then decreasing to 16 cases in 2012. Overall 67.2% of source patients were known to be HIV-positive at the time of PEP initiation, with no significant change over time. The median time to initiation of PEP was 2.5 h (0.15-28.5) following occupational exposure. Adverse effects were reported by 50.9% with no significant difference according to PEP regimen. In 85.1% of cases with available data, either a full course of PEP was completed or PEP was stopped because the source was tested HIV-negative. Only 6.6% stopped PEP early due to adverse effects.
PEP in Denmark is generally prescribed according to the guidelines and the annual number of cases has declined since 2005. Adverse effects were common regardless of PEP regimens used and new drug regimens should be considered.
The authors analyze occupational morbidity rates in the medical personnel of tuberculosis facilities in the Primorsky Territory, as well as the location of the institutions (industrial premises) and the influence of production factors on medical workers. The nature of work and working conditions in the medical workers of a tuberculosis facility where they are exposed to industrial hazards in practically 100% of cases necessitate effective measures to be taken to preserve and promote their health. The absence of standard buildings and premises for tuberculosis facilities and the low efficiency of rehabilitative sanatorium-and-spa treatment, health improvement, and the prevention of occupational diseases are important problems of a tuberculosis service in the Primorsky Territory. The findings serve as the basis for the development of an approach to preventing occupational diseases and recovering the health of medical workers who have experienced tuberculosis.
Because of the difficulty of identifying infected persons, current recommendations for infection control are to treat all patients as if they are infected with blood-borne pathogens such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the hepatitis viruses. Dentists' compliance with these recommendations has been investigated previously, however, there are few data related to orthodontists. The objective of this study was to measure the proportion of orthodontists who report the use of recommended infection control procedures and to compare the infection control practices of orthodontists and general dentists. A mailed survey with three follow-up attempts was administered to all orthodontists and general dentists in Ontario (N = 5441) in 1994. There were significant differences in the routine use of gloves (orthodontists 85%, general dentists 92%); masks (orthodontists 38%, general dentists 75%); protective eyewear (orthodontists 60%, general dentists 84%); changing gloves after each patient (orthodontists 84%, general dentists 96%); and heat sterilization of handpieces (orthodontists 57%, general dentists 84%). Hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination of all clinical staff was reported by 46% of orthodontists, compared with 61% of general dentists (p
With the June 2010 publication of EU Council Directive 2010/32/EU scrutiny is now being focused on the safety and protection of diabetes nurses.
We used a questionnaire to study the frequency and risks of Needlestick Injuries (NSI) associated with diabetic injections in European hospitals. 634 nurses participated from 13 western European countries and Russia.
When patients with diabetes who self-inject at home are hospitalized injections are given always by the staff in 31% of cases, by the patients themselves where possible in 33%, initially by staff, then the patient takes over in 12% and both staff and patient throughout the stay in 21%. 86% of nurses said their hospitals had a written policy on the prevention of NSI but, where it was available, only 56% were familiar with it. 67% of the nurses had not attended any training on the prevention of NSI and only 13% had attended one in the last year. 7.1% of nurses report recapping needles and 5.9% report storing unprotected needles temporarily on a tray, trolley or cart. 32% of nurses report suffering a NSI while giving a diabetic injection at some point in the past. 29.5% of NSI occurred while recapping a used needle. 57% of nurses unscrew pen needles using their own fingers. In 80% cases the source patient's identity was known and the sharp item was "contaminated" (known previous percutaneous exposure to patient) in almost half the cases (43%). NSIs were reported to the proper authorities in only 2/3 of cases.
Our study shows that frequent NSI occur in European nurses treating people with diabetes in hospital settings. These injuries are a source of possible infection despite the small size of diabetes needles. The introduction of safety-engineered medical devices has been shown to reduce the risk of injury. A new European Directive that has now come into force specifically stipulates that wherever there is risk of sharps injury, the user and all healthcare workers must be protected by adequate safety precautions, including the use of "medical devices incorporating safety-engineered protection mechanisms".
An analysis of questionnaires used in the institutions of blood service has shown the absence of standards in maintenance of safety of the personnel storing up blood. Most frequent cases of contamination of the personnel with donors' blood was noted when venepunctions were being made, during filling the test-tubes from a tube, utilization of waste products, cutting the tubes and opening the test tubes. Introduction of a system of higher occupational safety of the personnel and successive action of using innovations, up-to-date configuration of hemocontainers with vacuum sampling of the first portion of blood for laboratory investigations and fixed closing the needle allows reduce occupational traumatism in blood service.
The authors analyze occupational morbidity rates in the medical personnel of tuberculosis facilities in the Primorsky Territory, as well as the location of the institutions (workrooms) and the influence of occupational factors on medical workers. The nature of work and working conditions in the medical workers of a tuberculosis facility where they are exposed to occupational hazards in practically 100% of cases necessitate effective measures to promote and preserve their health. The absence of standard buildings and premises for tuberculosis facilities and the low efficiency of rehabilitative sanatorium-and-spa treatment, health improvement, and the prevention of occupational diseases are one of the problems of a tuberculosis service in the Primorsky Territory. The findings serve as the basis for the development of an approach to preventing occupational diseases and recovering the health status among the medical workers who have experienced tuberculosis.
The risk of becoming infected with bloodborne pathogens (e.g., hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV) during surgery is real. The degree of risk for perioperative personnel is related to factors that include participating in large numbers of surgical procedures each year; the nature of perioperative work (e.g., use of different types of sharp instruments): exposure to large amounts of blood and body fluids; the prevalence of bloodborne pathogens in the surgical population; the variation in different organisms' ability to be transmitted; the existence of vaccines and the level of vaccination; the availability of postexposure treatment; and the consequences of acquiring the disease. Controlling risks to perioperative personnel can be accomplished by using the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's three methods of control--redesigning surgical equipment and procedures, changing work practices, and enhancing the personal protection equipment of perioperative personnel.