“Improper disposal of waste appears to enhance the risk to hospital housekeepers. All hospital workers should receive continued training with regard to waste management.” Ream et al (2014).
Ream, P.S., Tipple, A.F., Barros, D.X., Souza, A.C. and Pereira, M.S. (2014) Biological Risk among Hospital Housekeepers. Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health. August 19th. .
Background: While not directly responsible for patient care, hospital housekeepers are still susceptible to accidents with biological material.
Objectives: Establish profile and frequency of accidents among hospital housekeepers, describe behaviors pre- and post-accident, and risk factors.
Methods: Cross-sectional study with hospital housekeepers in Goiania, Brazil. Data from interviews and vaccination records.
Results: Participating workers: 94.3%. Incomplete hepatitis B vaccination: 1 in 3. Accident rate: 26.5%, mostly percutaneous with hypodermic needles, and involved blood from an unknown source. Roughly half occurred during waste management. Upon review, length of service less than five years, completed Hepatitis B vaccination, and had been tested for anti-HBs influenced frequency of accidents.
Conclusions: Improper disposal of waste appears to enhance the risk to hospital housekeepers. All hospital workers should receive continued training with regard to waste management.
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