Category: Medical/Laboratories

40% of Healthcare Workers Work While Sick

It’s enough to make you reach for the hand sanitizer! Findings published in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control suggest that even when they’re sick with flu-like illnesses, 4 out of 10 healthcare professionals show up at work.

USP Delays Hazardous Drug Standard Enforcement but Encourages Early Adoption

Chemotherapy was first used to fight cancer in the 1940s. By the 1970s, chemotherapy drugs were being used to treat noncancerous health conditions, such as lupus, vasculitis, and autoimmune disorders. By the 1980s, the adverse health effects of chemotherapeutic agents on healthcare workers were well known enough to prompt the publication of the first recommendations […]

Health care, gloves, hospital, pharmacy

Hazardous Drugs, Risky Behaviors: Why Won’t Healthcare Workers Wear Their Gloves?

Pharmacists who compound antineoplastic and other hazardous drugs, and the nurses who then administer them, are at high risk of occupational exposure. These exposures can cause acute health effects, from sore throats to hair loss; allergic reactions; cancer; and reproductive toxicity—including an increased risk of miscarriage. Despite this, multiple studies have shown that healthcare workers […]

Hazardous Drugs: Good for Patients, Bad for Healthcare Workers

Wegener’s granulomatosis is a disorder that causes inflammation of the blood vessels in some parts of the body, leading to blood flow problems in affected organs. Until the 1970s, the disease was treated with steroids—but these could only slow the progression of the disease. Patients with Wegener’s granulomatosis generally died within a few months.

Put Away Your Phone! And Other Laboratory Infection Prevention Advice from the CDC

It’s starting to look predictable: There were outbreaks of salmonellosis associated with microbiology laboratories in 2011, 2014, and 2017. The 2017 outbreak resulted in 24 illnesses and 6 hospitalizations in 16 states, from California to Maine, over a 3-month period. As a result of the outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has […]

It’s Not Just Turtles: Salmonella, Illegal Pets, and Microbiology Labs

In late August 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it was investigating an outbreak of Salmonella infections in 13 states that had sickened 37 people and led to 16 hospitalizations. The culprit? It was just a little thing: small turtles—those with shells less than 4 inches long—sold illegally by street […]

Biological Safety Cabinets Protect Workers Against Biological Hazards

Laboratory workers who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals can protect themselves by isolating those chemicals inside a chemical fume hood. Workers exposed to biological agents must also take steps to isolate themselves from infectious hazards with a slightly different type of protective enclosure: a biological safety cabinet (BSC).

Fume Hoods Protect Workers Against Chemical Hazards

Laboratories are a unique environment when it comes to chemical hazards. Laboratory workers use a broad variety of chemicals, in relatively small quantities, and in combinations and bench-scale procedures that may be unlike anything found in a larger-scale operation. But that doesn’t mean that their chemical exposures are insignificant. In fact, lab workers may be […]

Many Dental Offices Aren’t Keeping Up with Bloodborne Pathogen Rules

An online survey found that more than a quarter of dental practices did not have a written bloodborne pathogens (BBP) control plan as required by OSHA. The survey was conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention, a dental industry organization. Findings were published […]