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Volume 5, Number 2, 2000

· Mawyer, D. "The High Cost of Hepatitis C: Diane Mawyer Tells About Her Battle With Occupationally Acquired HCV" (pp. 13,20-21,23). Diane Mawyer, a hepatitis C-infected R.N. from Virginia, describes the numerous blood exposures she experienced--first as a surgical staff nurse at the University of Virginia and then as director of a local blood bank--before tests for hepatitis C were available. She goes on to discuss how her life has been affected since she was diagnosed with HCV and became seriously ill from complications related to the disease. She has undergone two transplants (one a double transplant) and is currently unable to work. She discusses both the financial and the emotional costs of hepatitis C, and shares her hopes for a future in which health care workers have ready access to safer needle devices. Article includes a sidebar, "Hepatitis C: Latest CDC Findings and Recommendations."

· Perry, J. "Congressional Hearing Held on Revised Compliance Directive for Bloodborne Pathogens Standard" (pp.15-16). A congressional hearing held on June 22, 2000, focused on OSHA’s November 1999 compliance directive for the bloodborne pathogens standard, and included discussion of whether federal legislation is needed to mandate the use of safety devices. The article summarizes expert testimony provided by OSHA head Charles Jeffress, Massachusetts Nurses Association president Karen Daley, who is co-infected with HIV and HCV, Lorraine Thiebaud of the Service Employees International Union, Murray Cohen of the Frontline Healthcare Workers Safety Foundation, Enid Eck of Kaiser Permanente, and Tammy Lundstrom of the American Hospital Association.

· Perry J. "Needle Safety Laws Now on Books in Fourteen States" (pp. 17-19,22). Provides overall review of state legislation on needle safety, including the laws passed in nine states in April, May, and June 2000. Groups state needle safety bills into three categories: "comprehensive" bills, "study" bills, and "public sector" bills.

· Perry J. "CDC Releases National Needlestick Estimates" (p. 19). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented the results of a study estimating the annual number of percutaneous injuries (PIs) to U.S. hospital-based health care workers at a conference in March 2000. The estimates combined data from two sources: the CDC’s National Surveillance System for Hospital Health Care Workers (NaSH) database, and the Exposure Prevention Information Network (EPINet) database coordinated by the International Health Care Worker Safety Center (IHCWSC). The CDC’s estimate of 384,325 annual PIs for hospital health care workers is higher than earlier figures developed by the IHCWSC. The article discusses how the different estimates were arrived at.