Intravenous literature: Flynn, M.H. and Reid, A. (2012) Management of occupational blood exposures: a 4-year review. British Journal of Nursing. 21(11), p.644-648.
In the healthcare setting, occupational blood exposure (OBE) is a well recognised hazard. Following exposure, prompt and correct management is required to prevent infection and minimise adverse psychological impact. The aim of the study was to ascertain whether or not documentation of the management and follow up of OBEs was appropriate and in line with best practice. Of the 134 cases reviewed, 65% of staff who reported an OBE attended for management on the day of the injury. The instrument type was documented in 95% of cases, and degree of injury in 91%. However, the provision of first aid was adequately documented for only 36% of exposure cases and the provision of adequate information and advice was documented for just 33%. Only approximately half of 23% of healthcare workers requiring follow up completed this within the recommended time frame.
This study identified deficits in documentation, communication and follow up. However, this will likely improve with the recommendations outlined in this article.