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AEP Index

Volume 4, Number 6, 1999

Jagger, J., Bentley, M. "Percutaneous Injuries in Outpatient Settings and Physician's Offices" (pp.61, 70-71). Although as many as half of all health care workers are employed in non-hospital settings, most published reports on percutaneous injuries to health care workers only describe exposure risks in hospitals. This report addresses that imbalance. EPINet data from 1993 to 1998 is used to compare exposure risks and characteristics of injuries in hospital vs. office workers. The authors conclude that, when the causes of injuries are compared, workers in physicians' offices and outpatient settings have a proportionately higher frequency of injuries from blood-filled needles-those most likely to transmit bloodborne pathogens. They urge that office workers be given the same protection afforded by safer needles as hospitals workers.

Perry, J. "Federal Government Takes Action on Needlestick Prevention; NIOSH Issues Alert, OSHA Revises Bloodborne Pathogens Standard Compliance Directive" (pp. 63-64). Briefly discusses OSHA's revised compliance directive for the bloodborne pathogens standard issued on 11/5/99 (with a note that the entire following issue will be devoted to this topic), and discusses in detail the alert on "Preventing Needlestick Injuries in Health Care Settings," issued 11/23/99 by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The alert emphasizes the use of devices with safety features and the elimination of needles where "safe and effective alternatives are available."

Voelker, R. "Eradication Efforts Need Needle-Free Delivery" (pp. 65, 68-69). Reprinted from the Journal of the American Medical Association, this article discusses the need for safe, effective needle-free injection methods, particularly in mass immunization programs in third-world countries, where there is a danger of spreading HIV and hepatitis B if needles are reused out of habit or to control costs. In addition to patient safety, needle-free injection has important implications for reducing the incidence of occupational exposures to bloodborne pathogens among health care workers. The article gives an overview of the new technology developed to meet this need, particularly jet injectors, and discusses some of the issues associated with their use. It includes a list needle-free injection products.

Abstracts from the Fourth ICOH International Conference on Occupational Health for Health Care Workers-Montreal, Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 1999 (pp. 66-67). Includes four abstracts:
  • "Risk of Occupational HCV Infection After Percutaneous Exposure (Italy)"
  • "Blood Exposures in Health Care Workers (Italy)"
  • "Occupational HIV Infection in France"
  • "Status of Needlestick Injuries and Strategies for Prevention Programs at Japanese Referral Hospitals: Results of a Nationwide Survey."

    Perry, J. "Cal/OSHA Tackles Issues Surrounding Implementation of Revised Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, Issues First Citation" (p. 71).