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Médecine du travail du personnel hospitalier

Practice of universal precautions among healthcare workers.

J Natl Med Assoc. 2006 May;98(5):722-6.
Practice of universal precautions among healthcare workers.
‘Sadoh WE, Fawole AO, Sadoh AE, Oladimeji AO, Sotiloye OS.
Department of Child Health, University of Benin, Nigeria.’

INTRODUCTION: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are exposed to bloodborne infections by pathogens, such as HIV, and hepatitis B and C viruses, as they perform their clinical activities in the hospital. Compliance with universal precautions has been shown to reduce the risk of exposure to blood and body fluids. This study was aimed at assessing the observance of universal precautions by HCWs in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The study was conducted in September 2003 in Abeokuta metropolis, Ogun State, Nigeria. The respondents were doctors, trained and auxiliary nurses, laboratory scientists and domestic staff. They were selected through a multistage sampling technique from public and private healthcare facilities within the metropolis. The instrument was an interviewer-administered, semistructured questionnaire that assessed the practice of recapping and disposal of used needles, use of barrier equipment, handwashing and screening of transfused blood. RESULTS: There were 433 respondents, 211 (48.7%) of which were trained nurses. About a third of all respondents always recapped used needles. Compliance with nonrecapping of used needles was highest among trained nurses and worst with doctors. Less than two-thirds of respondents (63.8%) always used personal protective equipment, and more than half of all respondents (56.5%) had never worn goggles during deliveries and at surgeries. The provision of sharps containers and screening of transfused blood by the institutions studied was uniformly high. A high percentage (94.6%) of HCWs observed handwashing after handling patients. The use of barrier equipment was variable in the institutions studied. CONCLUSION: Recapping of used needles is prevalent in the health facilities studied. Noncompliance with universal precautions place Nigerian HCWs at significant health risks. Training programs and other relevant measures should be put in place to promote the appropriate use of protective barrier equipment by HCWs at all times.
MeSH Terms: Blood-Borne Pathogens* – Communicable Disease Control – Eye Protective Devices/utilization – Female – Gloves, Protective/utilization – Guideline Adherence/statistics & numerical data* – Handwashing – Health Personnel/standards – Health Personn

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