Archive for: June, 2012

Domestic violence at root of hospital fatality

By: June 18th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

The shooting at the Erie County (NY) Medical Center shows that violence in healthcare is not only limited to attacks on workers by patients and guests. Worker-on-worker and domestic disputes also are part of healthcare workplace violence concerns.

On June 13, Jacqueline Wisniewski, 33, was found shot to death in a stairwell in an Erie County Medical Center building, according to CNN, June 15. Police suspected Dr. Timothy V. Jorden, 49, a trauma center surgeon at the medical center and also believed to be in a relationship with Wisniewski.

Investigators found Jorden dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on June 15, CNN reports.

Click here for an OSHA Healthcare Advisor post on efforts to protect federal workers from domestic violence.

Weekly poll: Checking for slip, trip, fall hazards

By: June 18th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Week #3 of National Safety Council (NSC) Safety Month is Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls week. According to the NIOSH workbook, Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention for Healthcare Workers, the incidence rate of lost-workday injuries from slips, trips, and falls (STFs) in hospitals was 90% greater than the average rate for all other private industries combined.

NIOSH recommends conducting regular walk throughs using an STF check list to identify hazards, keeping a file of hazard photographs or descriptions, identifying staff members responsible for fixing the hazard and a targeted completion date. Compared to NIOSH recommendations, how thorough are you or staff members with regular STF walk-through inspection.

Take the OSHA Healthcare Advisor Weekly Poll and let us know.

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Ask the expert: Positive TB test with new hires

By: June 15th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: We are a low-risk setting for TB. What is the follow-up when a new worker has a positive skin test for TB?

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State officials investigate hospital hepatitis C outbreak

By: June 14th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

The New Hampshire state health department is investigating a hepatitis C outbreak affecting “20 people who either worked at or were treated at Exeter Hospital’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory,” according to CNN, June 13.

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CA-MRSA on the rise in NYC

By: June 12th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

New York City’s community-associated (CA) MRSA rates more than tripled between 1997 and 2006, according to an article appearing in the July issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

“Trends in Hospitalization for Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in New York City, 1997–2006” looked at CA-MRSA cases admitted to New York City hospitals and reports an increase from 1997 of 1.5 cases per 100,000 to 5.3 per 100,000 people in 2006.

When compared with other hospitalizations in the study period, researchers noted that men, children, people with diabetes, people with HIV, and the homeless were more likely to be hospitalized with CA-MRSA than the general population.

The authors speculated at the increased risk associated with these demographics and co-morbidities. Skin infections and sores are common among people with HIV and diabetes and could open the door to MRSA infection. Males and children may be at higher risk because they are more likely to play contact sports, which are associated with an increase risk of spreading bacteria. Persons that are homeless may have limited access to healthcare, as well as have other risk factors such as lack of personal hygiene and sharing personal items in shelter settings.

Up close and personal on unsafe injections

By: June 12th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

The CDC has recently posted two items on unsafe injection practices.

The first posting is on the CDC Foundation site, “Unsafe Injections Put Patients at Risk of Serious Illness,” where Tom McKnight, M.D., provides a first-hand perspective on unsafe practices such as using syringes and saline bags on multiple patients.

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Ask the expert: Bloodborne pathogens exposure incident

By: June 11th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: What constitutes a bloodborne pathogens exposure incident?

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Weekly poll: How serious are you about ergonomics?

By: June 11th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

The National Safety Council has designated the second week of June as ergonomics week. Is an ergonomics policy a key part of the safety program in your healthcare facility?  Take the OSHA Healthcare Advisor Weekly Poll and let us know.

 

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Tips for ergonomics week

By: June 7th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

The National Safety Council (NSC) reminds that week 2 of June National Safety Month is ergonomics week.

Here is a list of the Council’s daily ergonomics tips to share with your co-workers.

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CNA staff face many and varied workplace injuries

By: June 7th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

A report on work-related injuries among certified nursing assistants (CNA) show that they face not only a significantly high rate of injuries but also a wide variety of injuries.

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Study: Break rooms and kitchens are ‘hot-spots’ for workplace germs

By: June 5th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

It’s not the office restrooms that you have worry about, but rather that microwave oven door handle that hasn’t been cleaned in who-knows-when.

A study by Kimberly-Clark Professional and Dr. Charles Gerba, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona found: “The place where U.S. workers eat and prepare their lunch topped the list of office germ “hot-spots.” Sinks and microwave door handles “were the dirtiest surfaces touched by office workers on a daily basis.”

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Feds encourage blunt-tip suture needle use

By: June 5th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

To put it bluntly, the FDA, CDC, NIOSH, and OSHA want to see more use of blunt-tip suture needles in operating rooms.

The four federal agencies posted a joint announcement on May 30 reminding “health care professionals to use blunt-tip suture needles as an alternative to standard suture needles when suturing fascia and muscle to decrease the risk of needlestick injury.”

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