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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-91-342-2271, Douglas County Hospital, Alexandria, Minnesota.

Decker J; Deitchman S
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 91-342-2271, 1993 Jun; :1-25
In response to a request from the Administrator of Douglas Hospital (SIC-8062), Alexandria, Minnesota, the effectiveness of procedures and personal protective equipment used at the hospital to minimize exposures to bloodborne diseases was evaluated. Douglas Hospital was a general medical and surgical hospital with 127 beds. The reported number of employee exposures to blood from patients has increased in recent years. The written policies were in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control recommendations. In several locations throughout the hospital, containers for disposal of needles and other sharp objects were placed in awkward locations. A lack of splash protective equipment was noted in the obstetrics area. Questionnaires were completed by 262 workers. Most employees believed that gloves should always be worn for certain functions and that needles must never be recapped. However, many did not believe that masks, gowns, and goggles should be used whenever the spraying of blood tainted fluids was remotely possible. Most of the staff did not correctly understand the risks of acquiring an infection from needle stick injuries. The hospital's system for reporting needle stick injuries was thought to encourage underreporting. The authors conclude that exposures to blood continue to pose a potential health hazard for some workers. The authors recommend improving the educational system, implementing engineering controls, and improving procedures to reduce the hazards observed.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-91-342-2271; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-5; Health-care-personnel; Needlestick-injuries; Viral-infections; Laboratory-workers; Disease-vectors; Infection-control; Author Keywords: General Medical and Surgical Hospitals; hepatitis B; HBV; human immunodeficiency virus; HIV; bloodborne virus; bloodborne pathogens; infection control; needlestick injury; mucous membrane exposure; universal precautions
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division