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 27 May 2018

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Self-reported compliance with the Universal Precautions guideline

Researchers in the November issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology find that self-reported compliance with the Universal Precautions guideline is poor among both gastroenterologists and endoscopy nurses.

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In this study, researchers from the United States evaluated the Universal Precaution practices of gastroenterologists and GI endoscopy nurses.

The team mailed a 23-item questionnaire to 250 gastroenterologists and GI endoscopy nurses. Subjects were selected from the American Board of Internal Medicine online directory and the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates membership directory.

Of the 250 subjects, 31% of the gastroenterologists and 60% of the GI endoscopy nurses responded to the questionnaire.

32% of gastroenterologists washed their hands before and after handling each patient.
American Journal of Gastroenterology

The team found that only 32% of gastroenterologists and 50% of nurses washed their hands before and after handling each patient. In addition, only 5% of gastroenterologists and 30% of GI endoscopy nurses wore gloves during all patient contacts.

The team determined that 14% of gastroenterologists and 21% of GI endoscopy nurses used face shields for all procedures.

Furthermore, protective gowns were worn during all procedures by 29% of gastroenterologists and 46% of GI endoscopy nurses.

More gastroenterologists than GI endoscopy nurses either did not recap used needles or used the one-handed "scoop" technique.

The researchers found that 46% of gastroenterologists and 60% of GI endoscopy nurses reported that they always complied with the Universal Precaution practices.

Dr Terence Angtuaco's team concluded, "GI endoscopy nurses adhered to Universal Precaution recommendations better than gastroenterologists regarding most items queried except in the handling of used needles".

"Nonetheless, for both groups, compliance with proper hand washing and use of gloves, face shields, and gowns was very poor, and handling of used needles was satisfactory".

Am J Gastroenterol 2003; 98(11): 2420-3
21 November 2003

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