Saturday, September 09, 2006

Occupational Hazards - Medical Interns Working Long Hours at Risk of Injury

Medical intern lack of sleep bad for the patient but also leads to intern injury ...

"Medical interns who work overtime and constantly are fatigued are at an increased risk for job-related injuries such as needlesticks and cuts, according to two studies in the Sept. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Exposure of the skin to contaminated fluids (percutaneous injuries or PIs) and lacerations are hazards interns face while doing their training. This potentially could result in the transmission of blood-borne pathogens, including hepatitis and human immunodeficiency viruses, and have significant occupational health implications, according to researchers.

Najib T. Ayas, M.D., M.P.H., of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and colleagues examined the contributing factors for PIs in interns and assessed their relationship to extended-duration work.

From a total of 17,003 monthly surveys, 498 PIs were reported. Of these, 294 were due to lacerations from a sharp instrument (such as a scalpel), and 204 were due to a needlestick. Rates of injuries varied significantly, depending on type of residency. Interns in surgery and obstetrics/gynecology residency programs had the greatest risk because they perform more invasive procedures than other specialties, according to the report. "   (Continued via Occupational Hazards)   [Ergonomics Resources]nbsp;  [Ergonomics Resources]

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