Health care workers are exposed to various infectious agents that can lead to disease transmission during patient care. Emergency first-responders, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are a subgroup of health care workers particularly at risk for occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended universal precautions to prevent occupational transmission of bloodborne pathogens among health care workers. This cross-sectional study evaluates risks and behaviors for occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens among urban paramedics and EMTs in Dade County, Florida. Reported exposure via multiple routes was common, especially among paramedics. Knowledge of universal precautions was high, but reported practices were suboptimal because of inadequate information, as well as logistical and access issues. Additional research, administrative effort, and regulation are needed to increase the application of universal precautions in the prehospital setting.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of occupational and environmental medicine|
|State||Published - Sep 1996|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health