Thursday, June 28, 2007

Injuries and surgeons in training

From the New York Times article:
Nearly all surgeons accidentally stick themselves with needles and sharp instruments while in training. But most fail to report the injuries, risking their health and that of their families and patients to the threat of diseases including AIDS, hepatitis and many other blood-borne illnesses, according to a survey being published today.

Their being rushed was the chief reason the surgical residents cited for the injuries, which were mostly self-inflicted. Among the reasons they cited for not reporting the potentially fatal injuries was that doing so would take too much time, could jeopardize career opportunities and might cause a loss of face among peers.

In addition, there was a false belief that getting even timely medical attention would not prevent infection. In fact, immediate treatment with antiviral drugs can prevent infection among those stuck with needles while caring for patients with the viruses that cause AIDS and hepatitis B. Immediate treatment can also prevent chronic infection among those infected with hepatitis C virus.
Click here to access the article. Click here to access the New England Journal of Medicine source article.

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