A descriptive study of blood exposure incidents among healthcare workers in a university hospital in Sweden
1997 (English)In: Journal of Hospital Infection, ISSN 0195-6701, E-ISSN 1532-2939, Vol. 35, no 3, 223-235 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In an attempt to document blood exposure incidents and compliance with recommended serological investigations, universal precautions and incident reporting routines, data was collected from occupational injury reports during a two-year period. In addition, a sample of healthcare workers (HCWs) answered a questionnaire about blood tests and work routines. In a third part of the study some HCWs were asked about the type and actual frequency of incidents, together with the number of reported incidents during the two-year study period. Of a total of 473 reported occupational blood exposures, the majority came from nurses and the minority from physicians. Most reported incidents occurred on hospital wards. The most common incidents were needlestick injuries, and 35% occurred when the needle was recapped. Medical laboratory technicians (MLT) reported significantly more mucocutaneous incidents than other professionals (P < 0·01). In 10% of the incidents, the patient had a known blood-borne infection. Serological investigations post-exposure varied among professional groups, and 35% were not tested. No seroconversion was shown in the HCWs tested. In the third part of the study, respondents recalled 1180 incidents, although only 9% of these had been reported. The majority occurred in operating theatres, and in connection with anaesthesia. There was a significant difference (P < 0·001) between the different professional groups with regard to the frequency of incident reporting. Physicians reported only 3% and MLTs 36% of the incidents. Eighty-one percent believed that the accident could have been avoided. Despite knowledge of universal precautions, professionals continue to behave in a risky manner, which can result in blood exposure incidents.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1997. Vol. 35, no 3, 223-235 p.
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-84861DOI: 10.1016/S0195-6701(97)90210-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-84861DiVA: diva2:562618