Volume 5, Number 6, 2001 (released August 2001)

“A Surgeon, a Suture Needle—and Hepatitis C” (pp. 49, 53-58). Interview with a U.S. plastic surgeon who was occupationally infected with hepatitis C from a suture needle injury during his residency. As a result of his infection, he eventually lost his practice. The surgeon discusses difficult issues such as disclosure and informed consent, practice restrictions, and his struggle with his disability carrier, as well as the realities of coping with the illness itself. He also discusses ways to make the OR safer for all surgical personnel.

Perry J. “State Needlestick Legislation.” (p. 50).  Nevada, Missouri and Rhode Island recently passed legislation related to needlesticks. Nevada’s bill provides “presumptive eligibility” for workers’ compensation to occupationally infected employees. Missouri’s bill extends the protections of the revised bloodborne pathogens standard to state and local employees; Rhode Island’s bill appears to do the same.

Perry J. “CDC Issues Updated Guidelines for Management of Occupational Exposures to HBV, HCV and HIV” (pp. 51-52).  The updated guidelines, which for the first time combine postexposure recommendations for all three pathogens into one document, include recommendations for HBV and HIV postexposure prophylaxis. The article includes a Q&A on the guidelines prepared by the CDC.

“Safety Checklist for the OR” (p. 53).  Devices and procedures used in the OR that should be checked for safety alternatives.

 “HCV-Infected Health Care Workers: CDC, AMA and SHEA Policies and Positions” (p. 55).

“The Effectiveness of the Hands-Free Technique in Reducing Operating Room Injuries” (pp. 59). Abstract.