ABSTRACT: Accidental exposures to blood of body fluids (ABE) expose health care workers (HCW) to the risk of occupational infection.
Our aim was to assess the prevention equipment available in the operating theater (OT) with reference to guidelines or recommendations and its use by the staff in that OT on that day and past history of ABE.
Correspondents of the Centre de Coordination de la Lutte contre les Infections Nosocomiales (CCLIN) Paris-Nord ABE Surveillance Taskforce carried out an observational multicenter survey in 20 volunteer French hospitals.
In total, 260 operating staff (including 151 surgeons) were investigated. Forty-nine of the 260 (18.8%) staff said they double-gloved for all patients and procedures, changing gloves hourly. Blunt-tipped suture needles were available in 49.1% of OT; 42 of 76 (55.3%) of the surgeons in these OT said they never used them. Overall, 60% and 64% of surgeons had never self-tested for HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV), respectively. Fifty-five surgeons said they had sustained a total of 96 needlestick injuries during the month preceding the survey. Ten of these surgeons had notified of 1 needlestick injury each to the occupational health department of their hospital (notification rate, 10.4%).
The occurrence of needlestick injury remained high in operating personnel in France in 2000. Although hospitals may improve access to protective devices, operating staff mindful of safety in the OT should increase their use of available devices, their knowledge of their own serostatus, and their ABE notification rate to guide well-targeted prevention efforts.
American Journal of Infection Control 09/2006; 34(6):376-82. · 2.40 Impact Factor