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Advances in Exposure Prevention: summary of latest issue

Volume 7, number 4, 2005 (published June 2005)

* FINAL ISSUE *

  • Perry J, Jagger J. “Occupational Co-Infection with HIV and HCV in Clinical Lab Via Blood Splash” (pp. 37, 46-47) . Kristin Turner, a thirty-one-year-old clinical lab tech at Baltimore ’s Maryland General Hospital (MGH), was running HIV and HCV tests on patient blood samples using the Labotech Open Microplate Blood Testing System when the machine malfunctioned and a part crashed onto the plate holding the samples. She sustained a massive exposure to her eyes, nose and mouth. Three months later, after negative baseline tests and a course of PEP, she tested positive for both HIV and HCV. Turner sent a letter to MGH administrators and city and state health officials describing a history of problems with the Labotech, as well as improper alteration of quality control results. Her whistle-blowing prompted a state health department investigation and a U.S. House hearing on the safety of clinical labs, causing the College of American Pathologists (CAP) to reexamine and improve many of its processes for certifying labs. Turner filed a lawsuit against her employer and the Labotech manufacturer, Adaltis, claiming that warnings from her and other employees about defects in the Labotech machine were ignored, putting MGH lab workers at risk. This article describes her experience in detail and emphasizes the need to test personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure goggles and other equipment provide the appropriate level of protection.

  • “From the Editors: A Word of Thanks.” (pp. 38). For the final issue of AEP, editors Janine Jagger and Jane Perry take time to thank the many colleagues who have contributed to the publication over the years.

  • Davis  , MS. “AEP 1994-2005: An Extraordinary Journey.” OR safety expert Mark Davis, M.D., reflects on the contributions AEP has made over the last decade to healthcare worker safety and exposure prevention efforts in the U.S.

  • Perry J, Jagger J. “Needlestick Prevention in Canada  : The Safety Wave” (pp. 40-41). Just as the movement for mandating needle safety in the United States began at the state level, the push towards safety in Canada is going forward province by province.

  • In 2002, the Canadian Alliance for Sharps Safety and Needlestick Prevention was formed, bringing together labor and healthcare unions in most provinces to support passage of sharps safety policies. Since 2003, Alberta , Manitoba , Saskatchewan , Ontario , and Nova Scotia have introduced or passed needlestick safety legislation (or mandated needle safety-related changes to existing occupational safety regulations). Other provinces are likely to follow suit.

  • Perry J, Parker G, Jagger J. “EPINet Report: 2003 Percutaneous Injury Rates.” In 2003, the International Healthcare Worker Safety Center collected data on percutaneous injuries and blood and body fluid exposures from 48 healthcare facilities in the United States that use the EPINet surveillance program to track exposure incidents. These facilities voluntarily participate in the collaborative EPINet network coordinated by the Center, and their exposure data were combined into an aggregate database. We report findings from the 2003 data and provide percutaneous injury and blood and body fluid exposure rates for teaching and non-teaching hospitals in the EPINet network. Included in the article are EPINet data reports for 2003 for needlesticks and sharp-object injuries (48 healthcare facilities; 1,708 injuries) and blood and body fluid exposures (48 healthcare facilities, 524 exposures).

  • Special one-page supplement to vol. 7, no. 4: “Comparison of JCAHO and OSHA Standards Related to Occupational Exposure Prevention .”