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Volume 5, Number 4, 2000: Special issue on H.R. 5178

(released December 2000)


· Perry J. "H.R. 5178 Promises Unprecedented Protection to U.S. Health Care Workers" (pp. 39-40, 44). On November 6, 2000, President Clinton signed the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act into law. The bill authorizes federal OSHA to revise the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard to require the use of safety-engineered sharp devices. This article discusses the bill’s legislative history and gauges reactions from some of those who supported it. It also discusses which health care sectors are not covered by the bill, and when and how it will take effect.


· Pugliese G, Perry J. "The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (H.R. 5178): What Does It Require?" (pp. 41-42, 46). This companion article discusses in depth the bill’s requirements and what health care facilities must do to comply. It also answers a number of frequently asked questions about the bill, such as "What are the requirements for facilities in states with state-OSHA plans?"


· Pugliese G, Salahuddin M. "Costs of Safety Devices Can Be Offset in Creative Ways: One Medical Center’s Experience" (pp. 43-44). Presents the case of Lucerne Medical Center in Orlando, Florida, which found creative ways to offset the costs of adopting safety devices by standardizing hypodermic products, combining products for its needleless intravenous system, and introducing a new drug-saving syringe.


· "Excerpts from the Joint Statement of Legislative Intent on H.R. 5178." The Joint Statement, which was published along with H.R. 5178 in the Congressional Record of 10/26/00, was authored by Senators Jeffords, Kennedy, Enzi and Reid. It provides guidance on the bill’s scope and purpose, and can help health care professionals understand what the law is and isn’t intended to achieve.

· "Health Care Workers with Documented and Possible Occupationally Acquired AIDS/HIV Infection, By Occupational, U.S. through June 2000." Latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from the HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report.