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Health care workers
  1. J. Cross1,
  2. M. Steinberg1,
  3. A. Yassi2,
  4. G. Astrakianakis3
  1. 1BC Centre for Disease Control
  2. 2Department of Occupational Medicine
    UBC
  3. 3Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare (OHSAH)

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    013 BLOOD AND BODY FLUID EXPOSURES AND NEAR-MISS INCIDENTS AMONG HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: A LATENT CLASS ANALYSIS

    Objectives:

    Blood and body fluid (BBF) exposures pose a serious occupational hazard for hospital employees. While data associated with near-miss incidents form a critical component of surveillance and prevention initiatives in other settings such as the airline industry; little is known about the patterns of BBF exposures, actual and near-misses, among hospital employees or the risk factors associated with these patterns.

    Methods:

    Data for latent class analysis (LCA) of BBF survey were collected from 1920 hospital employees of five acute case hospitals in BC, Canada. Responses to eight questions regarding actual BBF incidents and near misses were used as indicator variables to create latent constructs and entered into the LCA to predict dependents in a regression mode. An unordered multinomial logit regression model was estimated simultaneously with the LCA and used to account for the resulting classes.

    Results:

    LCA demonstrated that shift work, frequent handling of hollow-bore needles, and frequent handling of tubes and drains predicted three classes of employees: exposed (20%), near-exposed (19%) and unexposed (59%). Characteristics of the “exposed class” included relatively high probabilities of exposure to needle-stick injures, cuts with sharp objects, and splashes to eyes or mouth and relatively low probabilities among the near miss items. The “near-exposed” class was characterised by relatively high probabilities of near misses on needle-stick injuries and splashes to the eyes or mouth and low probabilities on all items involving actual exposure. Younger employees, frequent handling of hollow-bore needles, other sharps, and tubes and drains were significant covariates of the near-exposure class.

    Conclusion:

    BBF exposures occur in 53% of hospital employees each year with four in five of these employees experiencing multiple incidents. The findings suggest that BBF exposure and near-exposures occur in equal proportions. Both actual and near-miss exposures are patterned, and these patterns are a function of shift work, age, and frequency of …

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