Archive for: December, 2010

Disinfectant fog is not your friend

By: December 31st, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

While a paramedic is providing care for you in an ambulance, he or she may be getting sick themselves.

A new disinfectant machine used by the Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corporation (MONOC) in New Jersey has caused complaints by some emergency workers, reported NJ.com, Dec. 25.

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Survey finds Americans likely to work while sick

By: December 31st, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

When you wake up with a stuffy head, and a dripping nose, the last thing you want to do is put on your power suit and head into the office. But a recent survey done by Kraft Foods’ Halls found that many Americans push past their symptoms and drag themselves into work.

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Oh, my aching back!

By: December 30th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

The following is an excerpt from the Complete Guide to Laboratory Safety, Third Edition, by Terry Jo Gile. To purchase this book, click here.

Back strain and pain account for 100 million lost work days and billions of dollars each year. Back injuries are second only to the common cold for lost time on the job. Many injuries could be avoided if only employees were aware of how to protect their backs. The spine is not perfectly straight. It has three curves: one at the neck, one at the middle of the back, and one at the lower back. Keeping these three curves in their natural alignment is the key to keeping the back healthy. Back injuries occur because of years of abusing the back until it is so weak and stressed that one wrong move will finally cause something to snap. Causes of back injuries include incorrect lifting, consistently poor posture, and twisting or overreaching.

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Disinfectant wipe battles hand rub for effectiveness

By: December 29th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Which is more effective: alcohol-based gels and hand rubs, or disinfectant alcohol-based wipes? Researchers at Special Pathogens Laboratory in Pittsburgh, PA, wanted to figure out just that.

Their study, published in the November issue of American Journal of Infection Control found that alcohol-based wipes are more effective than an alcohol-based hand rub.

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Study investigates how healthcare workers caught H1N1

By: December 28th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

An investigation of confirmed cases of H1N1 among healthcare workers (HCW) during the 2009-2010 pandemic indicates that 50% were infected within a healthcare setting.

This is one of the findings of “Transmission of Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Influenza to Healthcare Personnel in the United States,” an article by CDC researchers appearing in a special supplement on the H1N1 pandemic in the January Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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AMA working towards collecting stethoscopes

By: December 27th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

The American Medical Association (AMA) is asking for help in collecting basic medical instruments: stethoscopes.

New or gently used stethoscopes can be donated to WorldScopes, which is an initiative of the AMA Foundation that strives to distribute donated stethoscopes, AMA said in a December 20 press release.

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Weekly poll: How was your workplace safety program this year?

By: December 27th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Looking back over last year, how would you assess the effectiveness of your workplace safety program with regard to injury prevention? Take the OSHA Healthcare Advisor Weekly Poll and let us know.

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What OSHA has planned for you

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

OSHA released its semiannual regulatory agenda in the December 20 Federal Register, and some of the items could directly affect compliance in healthcare facilities.

Most of the healthcare-related items are still in the pre-rule stage—meaning that approval, promulgation, and enforcement are at least a year, or years even, away.  One agenda item, however, changes in the Hazard Communication standard concerning material safety data sheets, is scheduled for implementation in 2011.

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Shed a little light on lighting ergonomics

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

The following is an excerpt from the Complete Guide to Laboratory Safety, Third Edition, by Terry Jo Gile. To purchase this book, click here.

Ergonomics is the science of designing tools, furniture, machines, or work processes to make them safer and more efficient for human use. Ergonomic design attempts to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), such as repetitive motion injuries and back strains. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has an eTool that provides guidance for ergonomics in the healthcare setting, but it has not developed guidelines specifically for medical labs. It is important for laboratories to weigh ergonomics factors in choosing lab furniture and equipment.

Lighting is also of importance in ergonomics, with many of the same applicable principles. One important consideration is comfort, especially as employees age. Ambient lighting or daylight can and should be used when it is available. Task lighting should be no more than three times brighter than available ambient light. The type of task should dictate your decision about optimal lighting. Lighting at a computer workstation needs to be adequate to see both the screen and the papers on the desk. There should be no bright light on the computer, because it washes out images on the screen. Flat screens are very helpful, or you can turn off overhead lights or take out some of the fluorescent bulbs to reduce light. Promptly change florescent bulbs if they begin to flicker. In a four-bulb light fixture, remove the middle two, if possible.

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Study: Contaminated hands of anesthesia providers put patients at risk

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

Anesthesia providers’ hands are a risk to patients during surgery if they are contaminated, causing an increase in deaths, according to a study in the January issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, the journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS).

The investigation was done by Randy Loftus, MD, and colleagues at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH, the journal reported.

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Sterile Matters: Training material considerations

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

In my last Sterile Matters I discussed the necessities of training. For this post, I am focusing on developing training tools.

Creating tools for training may initially seem like a daunting task for some. However, I have a few suggestions that might help to make the process a bit easier for you.

Some considerations to keep in mind before you begin to develop your tools:

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CDC recommends options for thoroughness of cleanliness

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

As healthcare acquired pathogens (HAPs) become more frequent, the CDC is recommending all hospitals to create programs that highlight the cleanliness of near-patient surfaces and equipment at the discharge and transfer of a patient.

The CDC recognizes that monitoring cleanliness can be difficult. They have implemented two programs that hospitals can follow to properly monitor the effect of cleanliness: Level I program or Level II program.

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