Archive for: Bloodborne Pathogens

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.

Vital stats: Hand hygiene and glove use

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

Prompted by the study reported in the March issue of Medical Environment Update, HCPro’s OSHA Healthcare Advisor asked readers about hand hygiene performance before and after glove use in their facilities. Here are the results.

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Kicking a dirty habit: Hand hygiene rates lower when gloves are used—Medical Environment Update, March 2012

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

Most healthcare facilities have created some sort of campaign to raise levels of hand hygiene compliance—from creating signs and uploading sing-along viral videos to deploying “secret shoppers” around the nation to sneakily observe who is or isn’t washing their hands.

Yet a new study shows that when it comes to one specific practice—cleaning hands before and after glove use—healthcare workers have much lower rates of compliance, and that is is the focus of the March issue of Medical Environment Update.

Here is an excerpt.

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Call to Action issued to protect healthcare workers from bloodborne disease exposures

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

Progress has been made since the passage of the federal Needlestick Safety and Protection Act ten years ago, yet significant challenges remain in reducing the risk of healthcare worker exposure to bloodborne pathogens, according to a March 8 joint news release by the International Healthcare Worker Safety Center at the University of Virginia and the American Nurses Association.

The two organizations, along with 17 other nursing and healthcare organizations have endorsed a Consensus Statement and Call to Action for future efforts on needlestick prevention.

“We view this as a roadmap for future progress in preventing needlesticks, one of the most serious occupational risks healthcare workers face,” according to Center director and UVa Professor Janine Jagger, MPH, PhD. The eight-page statement provides “a snapshot of where we are now and where further work is needed in order to continue to protect healthcare workers from this risk they face every day in the line of duty,” Jagger says.

The Call to Action focuses on five pivotal areas in need of attention:

  1. Improve sharps safety in surgical settings
  2. Understand and reduce exposure risks in non-hospital settings (which include physicians’ offices, clinics, home healthcare, and an array of other settings)
  3. Involve frontline workers in the selection of safety devices
  4. Address gaps in available safety devices, and encourage innovative designs and technology
  5. Enhance worker education and training

A recommendation included in third item on exposure risks in non-hospital settings calls for OSHA  to “promote regional emphasis programs that focus on enforcement of the BPS [Bloodborne Pathogens Standard] in non-hospital settings; further, that other relevant groups, such as accrediting and licensing bodies and healthcare and workers’ compensation insurers enhance compliance incentives for non-hospital employers.”

Jordan Barab, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the OSHA, expressed the agency’s support, according to the news release, and noted, “The goal of this consensus statement, which is to continue the progress in reducing the risk of sharps injuries to healthcare workers, is one that is in line with OSHA’s mission.”

Needlesticks law accounts for drop in injuries

By: February 20th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Law and order has led to a decrease in needlestick injuries among hospital workers.

A multihospital sharps-injury database maintained by the International Healthcare Worker Safety Center at the University of Virginia shows a 38% decline in percutaneous injuries since passage of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (NSPA) on November 6, 2000 and stronger enforcement by OSHA according to “Percutaneous Injuries before and after the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act,” appearing in the correspondence section of the of the New England Journal of Medicine, February 16.

Along with the decrease, researchers from the safety center tracked “a steep market shift from conventional to safety-engineered devices,” suggesting additional effects from the NSPA.

“Our findings provide evidence that the NSPA contributed to the decline in percutaneous injuries among U.S. hospital workers. They also support the concept that well-crafted legislation bolstered by effective enforcement can be a motivating factor in the transition to injury-control practices and technologies, resulting in a safer work environment and workforce,” conclude researchers Elayne K. Phillips, B.S.N., Ph.D.; Mark R. Conaway, Ph.D.; Janine C. Jagger, M.P.H., Ph.D.


Needlesticks more likely during pandemic clinics

By: February 17th, 2012 Email This Post Print This Post

Healthcare workers giving lots flu shots in clinics during a pandemic are at higher risk of experiencing needlestick injuries, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection, February 2.

“Needlestick injury surveillance during mass vaccination clinics”  looked at needlestick injuries to healthcare workers in the Denver Metropolitan region health department clinics during the H1N1 pandemic. The study found that the injury rate was 4.9 times the mean rate compared that of non-pandemic vaccination clinics from 2003 to 2009.

The study also found an increased trend in needlestick injuries with vaccination inexperience.

“These findings can be used to improve future mass vaccination clinic safety,” the study included.

Vital stats: Prediction on bloodborne pathogen exposures

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

While still in the first part of the year, the OSHA Healthcare Advisor asked readers to predict how well their facility will do in preventing bloodborne pathogen exposures in 2012. Here are the results.

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Viewing the film Puncture

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

If you missed the film Puncture, which was highlighted in the December Medical Environment Update, when it premiered in select cities earlier this fall, and even if it hasn’t’ shown up in an independent theater near you or as part of a campus film series, you now have a chance to see it through DVD rental/purchase or online streaming.

January 3 was the release date through Blockbuster and Netflix, and Millennium Entertainment says it is likely that the film will be available through other on-demand sources.

The best way to stay up to date on availability is to visit the film’s Facebook page.

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