The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4066.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Board 5

Abstract #61262

Rates of exposure to patient blood among certified paramedics: Results from The National Study to Prevent Blood Exposure in Paramedics

Jack K. Leiss, PhD, MPH1, Jennifer A. Tierney, BA1, Jean G. Orelien, MStat1, Sara Baden, MPH1, Winifred L. Boal, MPH2, Jennifer M. Ratcliffe, PhD, MPH1, and Janine Jagger, PhD, MPH3. (1) Statistics and Public Health Research Division, Analytical Sciences, Inc., 2605 Meridian Parkway, Suite 200, Durham, NC 27713, (2) Surveillance Branch, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, R-21, Cincinnati, OH 45226, (3) International Health Care Worker Safety Center, University of Virginia, 1224 W. Main Street, Suite 400, Charlottesville, VA 22903

The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency of blood exposure events and the factors associated with these events among currently licensed paramedics. Paramedics were selected using a two-stage design. The first stage involved selecting states from three strata defined by the size of the paramedic population, i.e., >10,000, 10,000-3,001, and £3,000. The second stage involved a simple random sampling of paramedics from a list of licensed paramedics from each selected state. 6,500 questionnaires were mailed to paramedics in California, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. One state, Illinois, was unable to provide information on licensed paramedics because of privacy restrictions. The questionnaire contained two sections. In the first section, paramedics were asked about current job status, use and availability of equipment and devices, safety procedures, and limited personal demographic information. In the second section, paramedics were asked about blood exposure incidents that occurred within the last 12 months, including the number and location of exposures, whether safety devices or equipment were used, circumstances that contributed to the exposure, and whether the incident was reported. We will present estimates of exposure rates by route of exposure (needlestick and other percutaneous injury, mucous membrane, non-intact skin, and bite) and by selected demographic factors. Exposure rates will be presented using two denominators, i.e., exposure events per patient and exposure events per call.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Occupational Exposure, Occupational Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Poster Session 2

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA