Since the advent of major bloodborne diseases in the early 1980s governments, professional associations, infection control professionals and clinicians have grappled with the issue of infected healthcare workers (HCWs). Whilst preventing occupational acquisition of Hepatitis B, HIV and then Hepatitis C consumed much of our early focus we subsequently realised the need for equal vigilance in preventing clinician-to-patient transmission of these bloodborne diseases. As vaccination availability improved along with our understanding of disease transmission and recognition of at-risk populations, Australian infection control programs now also focus efforts on strategies and practices that limit the potential for infected healthcare workers (HCWs) to spread more common infectious diseases including Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella and various infectious gastrointestinal diseases. These strategies include screening, vaccination, a “stay-away from work” protocol and Standard and Additional Precautions. This presentation will briefly discuss each of these strategies and the need for HCW cooperation and buy-in.
28 Feb 2013
3rd International Congress of Infection Control Association (Singapore)