Title

Orthopedic Trauma Surgeons' Attitudes and Practices Towards Bloodborne Pathogens

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-1996

Journal

Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma

Volume

10

Issue

6

DOI

10.1097/00005131-199608000-00004

Keywords

Attitudes; Bloodborne pathogens; Orthopedic trauma surgeons; Practices

Abstract

A survey was conducted to determine orthopedic trauma surgeons' attitudes and practices towards occupational exposures to bloodborne pathogens. The survey was distributed to orthopedic trauma surgeons either by mail or through participation at the annual 1993 OTA meeting or the 1994 update meetings. Of the 1,058 surveys distributed, 504 were successfully completed (48%). The majority of respondents were attendings (72%) who performed at least 100 orthopedic procedures annually. Of the respondents, 74% reported they were moderately to very concerned about acquiring HIV at work. Despite their concern, 42% reported not routinely wearing gloves when changing wound dressings. Of the 340 respondents who have access to maximum barrier protection, 83% reported not wearing it to nail a femur fracture and 33% reported not wearing it when operating on an HIV+ patient. At an institutional level, almost one-third of those surveyed did not believe their facility promoted safe work practices. Facilities judged by respondents to promote safe practices were significantly more likely to have resources available and infection control policies in place compared to facilities judged not to promote safe practices. Orthopedic trauma surgeons need to improve their compliance with infection control recommendations. Further efforts by individuals and their institutions are warranted.

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