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Researchers in Brazil sought to analyze the main occupational risks to which that healthcare professionals are subjected in their work activities, as well as explore measures that can prevent these accidents. Da Silva, et al. employed a method integrative review of the literature through the selection of articles in databases such as Medline, CINAHL and Lilacs, using as key words "accident," "work" and "health," totaling 12 publications in the last 10 years.
The researchers report on general estimates that each year approximately 2 million women and men die as a result of occupational accidents and work-related diseases. Healthcare professionals are exposed to a number of risks, such as chemical, physical, biological, psychosocial, ergonomic, mechanical and actual accidents. According to the study authors, biohazards are the main generators of health- and risk premiums for these workers, because once in contact with bodily fluids from patients such as blood, there may be transmission of pathogenic microorganisms, chiefly HIV and hepatitis B and C.
DaSilva, et al. conclude that it is important then, to emphasize that preventive measures should be adopted in preventing contamination through accidents, such as vaccination, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and compliance with standard precautions. They add that healthcare professionals must pay attention to as possible causes of accidents in their workplaces and, through simple measures such as use of PPE, they can significantly reduce these risks. Their research was presented at the 2011 International Conference on Prevention & Infection Control (ICPIC).
Reference: J Da Silva, CN Shimura and A Giordani. Risks of accidents at work in health professionals. Presentation at International Conference on Prevention & Infection Control (ICPIC). Presentation at International Conference on Prevention & Infection Control (ICPIC). BMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 6):P287