There is a further need to improve education among the paramedics concerning the threat of being infected with blood-borne pathogens through all existing routes” Naylor et al (2018).
INTRODUCTION: Paramedics are at risk of occupational exposure, increased by the immediacy of provided treatment. However, the issue has not been acknowledged by any research in Europe up to date.
METHODS: The research aimed at assessing the occupational blood exposure among paramedics in Poland. Respondents represented 21 Polish medical institutions. Their participation was voluntary and anonymous. Paramedics were provided with a self-directed job specific questionnaire adapted to Polish conditions from an original North American version.
RESULTS: 118 paramedics participated in the study from institutions constituting the National Emergency Medical System in Poland; including ambulance crews, Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) and Emergency Department employees. Occupational exposure was reported by 18.64% of respondents and main route of exposure were needlestick events.
CONCLUSIONS: There is a further need to improve education among the paramedics concerning the threat of being infected with blood-borne pathogens through all existing routes. Our findings point to the problem as being hidden and considered a shameful issue.
Naylor, K., Torres, A., Gałązkowski, R. and Torres, K. (2018) Self-reported occupational blood exposure among paramedics in Poland; a pilot study. International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics. March 9th. .
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