Risk of sharps injuries and blood exposures among home health care workers.
Quinn-MM; Markkanen-PK; Galligan-C; Chalupka-S; Kim-H; Gore-R; Sama-S; Kriebel-D; Laramie-AK; Davis-L
APHA 136th Annual Meeting and Exposition, San Diego, California, October 25-29, 2008. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, 2008 Oct; :182600
A questionnaire survey of home health care (HHC) nurses and aides was conducted to estimate their risk of injuries from sharp medical devices ("sharps") and other blood/body fluid exposures. Risk factors for injuries and exposures also were evaluated, including the availability and use of sharp medical devices with safety features ("safety sharps"). Participants were recruited from 8 HHC agencies (26 offices) and 2 unions. Questionnaire topics included demographics, work experience, perceptions of safety climate and training, and hazards at work, as well as questions about sharps injuries (SIs) and other blood/body fluid exposures (BBFEs). Details of circumstances related to the most recent SI and BBFE also were elicited. 1225 usable questionnaires were collected (69% response rate). Over their entire HHC career, 34.9% of nurses and 6.4% of aides had at least one SI; 15.1% of nurses and 6.7% of aides had at least one BBFE. The annual SI rates per 100 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees were 5.1 SI/100 FTE for nurses and 1.0 SI/100 FTE for aides. Per-diem nurses had the highest rate of SI (13.4/100 FTE) while full-time nurses had the lowest (2.9/100 FTE). Part-timers had an intermediate rate. Most SIs occurred after use and involved disposal. Analysis of the most recent SIs among nurses for the years 2001 - 2007 showed that 65% of the cases did not use a safety sharp. A range of serious occupational hazards exists in HHC, including SIs and BBFEs. Effective interventions are needed for prevention.
Medical-equipment; Medical-personnel; Questionnaires; Nurses; Injuries; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Training; Risk-factors; Statistical-analysis; Exposure-levels; Body-fluids; Blood-samples; Needlestick-injuries; Hazards;
Author Keywords: Home Care; Occupational Health Care
Margaret M. Quinn, ScD, CIH, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Department of Work Environment, School of Health and Environment One University Avenue Lowell MA, 01854
Healthcare and Social Assistance
APHA 136th Annual Meeting and Exposition, San Diego, California, October 25-29, 2008
University of Massachusetts - Lowell