Author Archive for: David LaHoda

NIOSH tweets on Total Worker Health

July 24th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

For ground-breaking research, translation and best practices of integrative approaches to protecting and promoting health in the workplace, follow a new NIOSH Twitter feed, @NIOSH_TWH.

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State advises 8,000 dental patients to be tested for hepatitis, HIV

July 24th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

An investigation by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment indicates that as many as 8,000 dental patients may have been exposed to bloodborne pathogens from unsafe injection practices.

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Should Fed funding for patient safety go bye-bye?

July 23rd, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

A House subcommittee, on July 18, voted to eliminate all funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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Weighty issues: Obese patients and healthcare worker safety

July 23rd, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

The nation’s obesity epidemic has healthcare workers, especially nurses and nursing aides, bearing the brunt of injuries from unsafe handling of patients.

“In the course of an eight-hour day, a nurse will typically lift 1.8 tons, which is pretty astronomical,” said Amy Williamson, a workplace safety coordinator for Baptist Hospital, Nashville, TN, reports USA Today, July 19.

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Ask the expert: When safety needles and scalpels are the exception

July 20th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: What reasons will an OSHA inspector accept for not adopting safety devices, such as safety needles and safety scalpels?

A: “If a safer medical device compromises patient safety, worker safety or the medical integrity, its use would not be required,” states a June 3, 2005, letter of interpretation.

But there are additional conditions.

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LA dumps medical waste fine on hospital

July 19th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Kaiser’s South Bay Medical Center will pay $73,615.40 in fines for unlawful disposal of medical waste.

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Oregon’s hospitals report HAI prevention success

July 17th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

The fight against healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) by Oregon hospitals has yielded impressive results in decreased infection rates and potential cost savings, according to a July 17 announcement from the CDC.

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Mercy! Time to consider risk of MRSA from unsafe injections

July 17th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Move over hepatitis B, C, and HIV, and make room for MRSA infections as a consequence of unsafe injection practices.

A July 16 post on the CDC Safe Healthcare blog by Dr. Michael Bell, associate director for infection control at the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, discusses two recent outbreaks in Arizona and Delaware where the use of medication from single-dose/single-use vials for multiple patients resulted in “staph/MRSA infections in at least 10 patients receiving injections for pain relief.”

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Ask the expert: Healthcare worker TB exposure

July 16th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: A patient seen by our practice has recently tested positive for tuberculosis and is undergoing treatment.  From an OSHA perspective, what follow-up treatment do we need to do for employees who were exposed to him?

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Weekly poll: Healthcare workers and latex hazards

July 16th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

A jury found against a hospital and awarded $4.7 million in damages in a patient wrongful death suit. The reason, nurses were found negligent in following the hospital’s latex-allergy policy and protocol, according to Outpatient Surgery, July 12. Patients, however, are not the only persons at risk to latex allergies in healthcare settings.

According to OSHA, 8-12% of healthcare workers are latex sensitive, and between 1988 and 1992 there were 1,000 reports of adverse health effects from exposure to latex, including 15 deaths due to such exposure.

In your facility, do you educate healthcare workers and provide them with training materials about latex allergies?

Take the OSHA Healthcare Advisor Weekly Poll and let us know. Also a free Worker Latex Exposure Safety Checklist is available for downloading on the Tools page.

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NIOSH reports chemotherapy drug exposures to oncology clinic staff

July 13th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Concerns voiced by staff at an oncology clinic can help protect your workers, who may also handle hazardous drugs.

NIOSH posted a new Health Hazard Report prompted by a request from a Florida oncology clinic where staff members complained about upper respiratory irritation, headache, fainting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

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Alta Bates Summit ordered to pay $84,450

July 12th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Cal/OSHA has imposed an $84,450 fine on Alta Bates Summit Medical Center for failure to warn and protect a hospital worker and an Oakland police officer exposed to an emergency room patient with meningitis, according to the San Jose Mercury News, July 2.

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