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AEP: Summary of latest issue


Volume 6, number 2, 2002 (released July 2002)


  • Perry J, Jagger J. "Percutaneous Injuries and Blood Exposures in Emergency Department Settings" (pp. 13,20-22). Emergency department staff are especially vulnerable to bloodborne pathogen exposures. To better understand the risks of percutaneous injuries (PIs) and blood exposures in the ED, we analyzed five years of EPINet data (1996-2000), with 1,060 PIs and 338 BBF contacts. The data showed that ED workers are more likely to sustain PIs involving blood-filled needles than other hospital personnel. We analyzed EPINet data for the ED by job category, devices causing injury, original purpose of the devices, and also compared data for the ED and patient rooms.

  • Perry J, Jagger J. "HIV Infection in a Firefighter/Paramedic" (p. 14,23). Discusses the case of John Smith (a pseudonym), a 32-year-old firefighter/paramedic in a mid-western city who was infected with HIV and has no other reported risk factors other than numerous occupational exposures to blood.

  • Perry J. "A Needlestick in the ER." In 1999, Vanessa Burkhart was a 39-year-old highly skilled emergency nurse. One night, while working as a charge nurse in the ED, she was stabbed by a combative patient with a blood-filled I.V. needle. Four months later, she was diagnosed with hepatitis C. The article describes Vanessa's seroconversion and year-long treatment with interferon, and her effort to forge a new professional identity for herself-as a clinical nurse educator whose passion is preventing needlestick injuries and blood exposures.

  • "First U.S. Cases of Health Care Worker-to-Patient Transmission of Hepatitis C" (p. 18). The article describes the first reported cases of healthcare-worker-to-patient transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the United States. The February 11, 2002, issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine reported the case of a U.S. anesthesiologist who infected a patient with hepatitis C; in March 2002, news broke of a cardiac surgeon on Long Island (NY) who infected at least three and possibly seven or more of his patients with HCV.

  • Parker G. "Needlestick Injuries: A Paramedic's Perspective" (p. 19). A former paramedic gives a first-hand account of the risks faced by EMTs for needlesticks and blood exposures, and the typical working conditions that paramedics must cope with.

  • "EPINet Data Report: Sharps Injuries to Paramedics in the Field" (p. 22). 1993-2000; total cases = 20.

  • "EPINet Data Report: Blood and Body Fluid Exposures to Paramedics in the Field" (p. 23). 1993-2000; total cases = 30.