Archive for: March, 2011

Ask the expert: Eyewash stations and expectorating the unexpected

By: March 23rd, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Are hospitals required to have eyewash stations in areas where patients are cared for? I work at a hospital and a patient with mouth MRSA spit directly into my eye. I am now permanently partially blind in that eye due to the infection that set in.

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Three swipes and bacteria is out!

By: March 23rd, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

A study at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta in Canada found that swiping a plastic surface three times with a disinfectant wipe or saline tissue will eliminate 88% of most bacteria.

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Nurse spreads infection to patients by tampering with IV bags

By: March 22nd, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

An investigation is underway after a nurse unknowingly introduced bacteria into 23 different patients while stealing pain medication from patients’ IV bags.

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Ask the expert: Anti-fatigue floor mats

By: March 21st, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: I cannot find any OSHA standards regarding the use of anti-fatigue floor mats. Are there any such regulations or guidelines?

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Weekly Poll: Should healthcare workers be penalized for infectious disease exposures?

By: March 21st, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

A bill introduced in the New York legislature would make it a felony for healthcare workers who put their patients in danger by exposing them “to blood-borne diseases through reckless acts, like reusing syringes or other clearly dangerous actions.” If passed, would a law penalizing an employee for putting their patients in danger of infection exposure make any difference in the number of incidents where patients are infected by healthcare workers? Take the OSHA Healthcare Advisor Weekly Poll and let us know.

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Website launched to relieve workplace stress

By: March 21st, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

FunnySurgeryStories.com launched March 17 with hopes to alleviate any stress that may occur in the hospital setting.

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Docs dinged for dirty practices

By: March 18th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Patient exposures from contaminated devices and sub-standard work practices, especially in ambulatory settings, is a nation-wide concern among infection control and patient safety advocates, and for two doctors, noncompliance has caught up with them.

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PA healthcare workers may get more protection from workplace violence

By: March 18th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Pennsylvania is following the lead of other states by considering legislation aimed at preventing violence against healthcare workers

A 2010 study done by the Emergency Nurses Association found that 11% of emergency department nurses are physically assaulted, and in 45% of the cases, there was no legal action taken against the offender.

New York put a law into effect in November which offers nurses the same protection as police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians. Read about it at OSHA Healthcare Advisor.

Republican State Representative Nicholas Micozzie, is sponsoring a bill addressing violence in the workplace against nurses. The bill will start by offering training for healthcare workers, improve security measures, and establish rules to report assaults in the healthcare facility, reports the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Another effort in working towards getting protection is, the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP). PASNAP is working towards finding solutions to prevent workplace violence against nurses, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. More than 100 PASNAP members showed up to the Delaware County Courthouse last week when plans for the bill were given.

OSHA recognizes different factors that trigger workplace violence, some of them being 24-hour public access to hospitals and the need for hospitals to keep intoxicated or violent patients. Use the Violence in the Workplace: Safety Tips for Healthcare Workers violence tool to help identify signs of violence.

Do you agree with state-by-state measures to prevent healthcare workers from workplace violence or do you feel as if action should be taken on the federal level? Let us know in our comment section.

Designing an all-new laboratory for safety

By: March 17th, 2011 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.

Considering safety requirements in laboratory design is much easier in new construction than when retrofitting existing facilities.

Communication is the key among the project team. The use of electronic communication between meetings can be an asset. Create a master e-mail list to be sure that everyone (e.g., hospital), then make sure there are lab representatives on the planning committee as soon as possible. Often the laboratory is overlooked or an afterthought and work can be done incorrectly that will have to be fixed later. The more buy-in staff have in planning and design, the easier the chances will be to implement, even if some staff members do not agree with the decisions. Who better than frontline staff to tell you what can and cannot work?

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Improper endoscope disinfection leads to lawsuit

By: March 17th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Endoscope cleaning procedures are at the heart of a class-action lawsuit against Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans. An endoscope used for a procedure like a colonoscopy was found to be improperly disinfected for several months, potentially exposing patients to hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV, reports WSDU, New Orleans. , prompting patients to file a lawsuit.

Between October 8 and December 1 of 2010, the device was not disinfected, according to the law suit’s attorney, Ron Austin, and all affected patients will be looked at to conclude whether or not they contracted an infectious disease from the improperly disinfected device.

In a letter to its patients, Tulane Medical Center explained the cleaning process of the endoscope, admitting that in one step, the wrong temperature was used to properly disinfect, reports WSDU.

The Center is contacting the 360 patients affected, and offering free testing and counseling services, according to the report.

Have you been part of a similar infection control issue that involved lawsuits and adverse publicity? If so, what were some insights that you gained? Let us know in the comment section below.

$10 million granted by CDC to help reduce HAIs

By: March 16th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

As part of its Prevention Epicenter grant program, the CDC is awarding $10 million to five academic medical centers in an effort to help reduce infections in the heath care setting.

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Proposed NY bill will penalize medical professionals for infectious disease exposure

By: March 16th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

A bill was introduced in the New York legislature that will make it a felony for medical personnel who cause harm to patients through dangerous actions such as reusing medical equipment. The bill is the result of surgical patients’ potential exposure to hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and/or HIV from improperly sterilized surgical trays at Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, NY.

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