Category: Medical/Laboratories

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Software from NIOSH Tracks Health Worker Incidents

Hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other healthcare employers are required to track sharps incidents and blood and body fluid exposures. New software modules from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) make it easier to analyze this essential data and use it to plan and monitor interventions.


What Are Healthcare Workers Saying About Anesthetic Gases?

Results of a recently released survey of healthcare workers who provide anesthesia care show that many are not following recommended practices when administering anesthetics. Healthcare employers should review the survey and buck up their safety programs where they think training for their employees who administer anesthetics is lacking.


Just a Spark? Systemic Failures Lead to Hawaii Lab Explosion

On March 16, 2016, a 29-year-old postdoctoral student at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, was working alone in the lab. Thea Ekins-Coward was bleeding off hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and oxygen from pressurized tanks to feed to experimental cells. The project had been ongoing since 2008 without a mishap, and the lab had passed its most […]


The Lurking Menace: Is Legionnaires’ in Your Air?

In September 2016, three patients at the University of Washington Medical Center in Vancouver, Washington, developed secondary infections after undergoing treatment. Their infections were ultimately identified as Legionella pneumonia—a bacterial infection that is usually caused by airborne exposure to Legionella pneumophila. As the hospital began investigating the outbreak, more cases appeared. Something in the hospital […]


Do Your Research: Protect Lab Workers from Chemical and Biological Hazards

Laboratories are dangerous places, and university laboratories have proved deadly with disturbing regularity in recent years. In 2008, for example, a lab research assistant at the University of California, Los Angeles, was killed in a flash fire. In January 2010, an explosion at Texas Tech University cost a graduate student three fingers and caused severe […]