Archive for: Bloodborne Pathogens

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

By: 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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CDC updates guidelines for healthcare workers with hepatitis B

By: July 9th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

The CDC updated the guidelines for how facilities should manage healthcare providers with hepatitis B so as to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to patients.

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Vital stats: Hepatitis B protection for healthcare workers

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

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that healthcare workers “with reasonably anticipated risk for exposures to blood or infectious body fluids receive the complete Hepatitis B vaccine series and have their immunity documented through postvaccination testing.” OSHA Healthcare Advisor asked its readers what percentage of their workers met ACIP recommendations? Here are the results:

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Ask the expert: Refusing the hepatitis B post-vaccination titer

By: June 26th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: If an employee agrees to the hepatitis B the vaccination but fails to follow through on the titer one to two months after the series, what should I do for OSHA compliance?

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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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Reducing phlebotomy needlesticks

By: May 29th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

More than 10 years after the passage of the Needlestick Prevention and Safety Act phlebotomy procedures still pose significant needlestick risks for healthcare workers. A free webinar for nursing staff will discuss “the most recent needlestick injury data and nurses’ rights under current laws/regulations, as well as provide a review of available safety-engineered technologies and the benefits and limitations of each class of devices.”

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Weekly poll: Hepatitis B protection for healthcare workers

By: May 21st, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month and May 19 was designated as National Hepatitis Testing Day in the United States. The CDC has identified protecting patients and workers from healthcare–associated viral hepatitis as one element in its comprehensive viral hepatitis action plan. In protecting healthcare workers from Hepatitis B, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that healthcare workers “with reasonably anticipated risk for exposures to blood or infectious body fluids receive the complete Hepatitis B vaccine series and have their immunity documented through postvaccination testing.”

Of the workers in your healthcare facility with reasonably anticipated risk for exposures to blood or infectious body fluids, what percentage do you estimate meet the ACIP recommendations for Hepatitis B vaccination and postvaccination testing? Take the OSHA Healthcare Advisor Weekly Poll and let us know.

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Ask the expert: Rented space and OSHA responsibility

By: April 19th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: My practice rents space to another practice with employees. They use none of our supplies and operate as a separate business. Is my practice responsible for OSHA training for their employees?

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Study assesses dental students on bloodborne exposures

By: April 16th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Fewer than half of dental school students showed “adequate knowledge of transmission and management” of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens according to a study appearing in the April issue of the Journal of Dental Education.

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Needlestick prevention group takes to the road

By: April 2nd, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Safe in Common, a non-profit organization established to raise awareness about needlestrick hazards for U.S. healthcare personnel, has launched The Needlestick Safety Awareness Tour.

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Study records operating room staff observations on double gloving

By: March 27th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Healthcare providers observed blood on their hands after surgery more frequently when they wore a single pair of gloves than when they wore two pairs of gloves and generally had a favorable opinion on double gloving, according to a study by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN).

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Study: Blood exposures risky with IV catheters

By: March 19th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

For nurses, working with IV catheters poses a significant risk for blood exposures, yet most incidents go unreported.

A study, by the International Healthcare Worker Safety Center at the University of Virginia, finds that half of nurses experience blood exposures on skin, mucous membranes, or eyes at least once a month when inserting a peripheral IV catheter.

Healthcare workers place more than 300 million short peripheral intravenous catheters every year in the United States, and the study reports that nurses are at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens in 128 of 100,000 IV catheter insertions, compared to the more commonly recognized risk of exposure from needlestick injury with non-safety catheters at 6.6 per 100,000 devices.

Furthermore, the majority of IV catheter insertion exposures go unreported. Of the total mucous membrane exposures sustained by respondents in this study, 69% were not reported. In comparison, the CDC’s underreporting rate for sharps injuries is 57%.

Almost nine in 10 of those nurses who did not report the incident said they did not think the exposure was significant enough to report; more than one third said they were too busy, and 9% said they were concerned about others’ perceptions.

Janine Jagger, PhD, MPH, lead author of the study and director of the International Healthcare Workers Safety Center, says she was surprised by not only the frequency of blood exposure during both insertion and removal of IV catheters, but that the risk of exposure was about equal during both insertion and removal.

The study, “Blood exposure risk during peripheral I.V. catheter insertion and removal,” appeared in Nursing 2001 and is available for viewing on the BD website.

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