Archive for: June, 2010

Study shows paid sick leave could impact flu transmission, provides support for legislation

By: June 23rd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Urging sick employees to stay home isn’t a new intervention, particularly during flu season, but it’s also not one that every employee has access to.

A study commissioned by the Public Welfare Foundation, and conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, found that 55% of workers without paid sick leave went to work when they had and infectious illness like the flu. Alternatively, only 37% of those with paid sick leave went to work. Furthermore, 16% of all respondents reported losing their job for taking sick time.

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Notes from the field: Don’t tell me, you dropped your engagement ring in the sharps container

By: June 22nd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

This incident came back to me recently when I heard someone say a cell phone had fallen into a sharps disposal container.

Several years ago, I was in an office when the medical assistant ran up to me saying she had just lost her engagement ring. She was hysterical!

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New lab safety resource available today

By: June 22nd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

If you’re a frequent visitor of this blog you’re probably already familiar with some of the expert guidance provided by Terry Jo Gile, aka “The Safety Lady®.”

Now you can find all of her advice in one easy-t0-use location. Today marks the release of the “Complete Guide to Laboratory Safety, 3rd Edition,” updated from the last edition, which was released in 2007.

The new edition includes:

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NIOSH advises on protection for first responders

By: June 22nd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Paramedics have a higher risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens than most other healthcare workers, according to a new NIOSH workplace solutions document.

Preventing Exposures to Bloodborne Pathogens Among Paramedics provides practical recommendations aimed at protecting first responders from infections from the hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and HIV, which causes AIDS.

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Weekly poll: WHO pandemic guidelines

By: June 21st, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

The World Health Organization (WHO) is defending its decisions surrounding the H1N1 pandemic after an article published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) criticized the organization using pandemic advisors who had done paid work for pharmaceutical companies, raising potential conflict of interest concerns.

Furthermore a statement by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said WHO’s handling of the pandemic led to a “waste of large sums of public money, and unjustified scares and fears about the health risks faced by the European public.”

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Medical waste storage: It’s usually a state matter

By: June 21st, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

A frequently asked question submitted to the OSHA Healthcare Advisor concerns medical waste. The common misconception is that federal OSHA regulates this area.

However, that is only partly true. The OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen standard (1910.1030) addresses exposure hazards to regulated waste particularly at the point of generation, initial containment, bagging, and labeling

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Tools can help in preventing workplace violence in healthcare

By: June 18th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Here’s a post on violence in healthcare settings from our colleague, Steve MacArthur, at the Hospital Safety Center,  that is relevant enough to reprint in full:

It can’t happen here… can it? You betcha it can!
That’s the question and answer that hospitals are really going to need to start working on in order to stay ahead of the game when it comes to the management of violence in their facility.

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Ask the expert: Sterilizer logs in dental practices

By: June 18th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: In a dental office, does OSHA require us to keep logs of our autoclave operations, for example the indicator slips that validate the sterilization process was successful?

A: You should keep a log, not so much for OSHA regulations—remember, OSHA is for employee safety, not patient safety—but for adherence to basic infection control concepts and individual state regulations.

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Tagging requirements for the deceased don’t always include IC specifics

By: June 17th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Is it a state or federal law to identify by a tag if a deceased patient has an infectious disease or radiation that could expose others? Is there a guideline saying which diseases are included?

A: Funeral homes are not told much due to privacy issues. They usually are told via the tag if the patient had an infectious disease, but not which one.

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Flu summit presentations available

By: June 17th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Presentations from The National Influenza Vaccine Summit, “Pandemic, Perceptions, Progress, Prevention and Perspectives” held May 17-19 in Scottsdale, AZ, are now available online.

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ASC Q&A: What standards and guidelines should I use?

By: June 16th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: What are some examples of acceptable national standards to build an infection control plan from?

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Pittsburgh clinic reveals five years of syringe reuse

By: June 16th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Officials at the Children’s Hospital system in Pittsburgh said they identified one doctor at a spasticity clinic at Children’s Hospital North in Franklin Park, PA, who reused syringes on cerebral palsy patients, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Patients received injections of Botox to relax their muscles. Dr. Steven G. Docimo, vice president of medical affairs at Children’s told the Tribune-Review syringes were reused very occasionally and only 350-400 patients received care at the center. 

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