Our goal is to determine the effect of the work-hour limitation on the rates of needlestick and eyesplash injuries” Drazin et al (2016).
BACKGROUND : The most recent work-hour restrictions were implemented in July 2011 for training physicians. The impact of these regulations on workplace injuries is not yet fully understood. Our goal is to determine the effect of the work-hour limitation on the rates of needlestick and eyesplash injuries.
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METHODS : Approximately 1200 neurosurgery residents and fellows in the United States were emailed a survey, several times, Sept 2013-February 2014. There were 212 responses across postgraduate years 1-7 and fellowship regarding the rate of needlestick and eyesplash injuries experienced or witnessed before and after July 2011.
RESULTS : Regarding witnessing a needlestick/eyesplash accident: 89.33% of respondents claimed witnessing an injury. Specifically regarding percutaneous injuries (PCIs): before July 2011, 21.77% claimed never witnessing; after July 2011, only 8.9% indicated never witnessing. Specifically regarding eyesplash injuries: comparing the injuries (40.94%) before July 2011 to those (51.94%) after July 2011, the survey indicated an increase in eyesplash injuries.
CONCLUSION : The results of this survey document that neurosurgery residents/fellows observed (or personally sustained) an increased number of needlestick and eyesplash injuries after implementation of the July 2011 work-hour limitations. Although the last set of reduced-hour regulations have been in place for more than three years, there does not therefore seem to be a safety advantage associated with them regarding a reduction in PCI or eyesplash accidents. This may be due to other confounding factors, not yet affirmatively identified, which warrant additional investigation and identification, directed at preventing future injuries.
Drazin, D., Al-Khouja, L. and Colen, C. (2016) The Effects of the 80-hour Workweek on Occupational Hazards. Cureus. 8(4), p.e557.
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