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Use of Personal Protective Equipment and Operating Room Behaviors in Four Surgical Subspecialties: Personal Protective Equipment and Behaviors in Surgery

Deniz Akduman , MD, Lynn E. Kim , MPH, Rodney L. Parks , MA, Paul B. L’Ecuyer , MD, Sunita Mutha , MD, Donna B. Jeffe , PhD, Bradley A. Evanoff , MD, MPH and Victoria J. Fraser , MD
Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Vol. 20, No. 2 (February 1999), pp. 110-114
DOI: 10.1086/501601
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/501601
Page Count: 5
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Use of Personal Protective Equipment and Operating Room Behaviors in Four Surgical Subspecialties: Personal Protective Equipment and Behaviors in Surgery
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE.  To evaluate Universal Precautions (UP) compliance in the operating room (OR). DESIGN.  Prospective observational cohort. Trained observers recorded information about (1) personal protective equipment used by OR staff; (2) eyewear, glove, or gown breaks; (3) the nature of sharps transfers; (4) risk‐taking behaviors of the OR staff; and (5) needlestick injuries and other blood and bodyfluid exposures. SETTING.  Barnes‐Jewish Hospital, a 1,000‐bed, tertiarycare hospital affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri. PARTICIPANTS.  OR personnel in four surgical specialties (gynecologic, orthopedic, cardiothoracic, and general). Procedures eligible for the study were selected randomly. Hand surgery and procedures requiring no or a very small incision (eg, arthroscopy, laparoscopy) were excluded. RESULTS.  A total of 597 healthcare workers’ procedures were observed in 76 surgical cases (200 hours). Of the 597 healthcare workers, 32% wore regular glasses, and 24% used no eye protection. Scrub nurses and medical students were more likely than other healthcare workers to wear goggles. Only 28% of healthcare workers double gloved, with orthopedic surgery personnel being the most compliant. Sharps passages were not announced in 91% of the surgical procedures. In 65 cases (86%), sharps were adjusted manually. Three percutaneous and 14 cutaneous exposures occurred, for a total exposure rate of 22%. CONCLUSION.  OR personnel had poor compliance with UP. Although there was significant variation in use of personal protective equipment between groups, the total exposure rate was high (22%), indicating the need for further training and reinforcement of UP to reduce occupational exposures.

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