Hospitals fail to protect staff

Hospitals are failing to manage the occupational exposure of their
healthcare staff to blood and body fluids, according to doctors at London’s St
Thomas’ Hospital.

Out-of-hours management of occupational body fluid exposures, particularly
when it came to prescribing post-exposure prophylaxis against HIV, was
inconsistent with in-hours practice.

A total of 177 body fluid exposures were reported over a six-month period,
109 of which were initially assessed in the OH department and 68 in A&E.

Of those originally assessed in A&E, only 21 attended the OH department
for follow-up.

Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2002; 59: 415-418.

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