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Revista de la Universidad Industrial de Santander. Salud

Print version ISSN 0121-0807
On-line version ISSN 2145-8464


TAPIAS-VARGAS, Luis Felipe et al. Biological accidents among Medical students from Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia. Rev. Univ. Ind. Santander. Salud [online]. 2010, vol.42, n.3, pp.192-199. ISSN 0121-0807.

Introduction: Biological accidents represent a significant occupational risk to healthcare workers including medical students. Objective: To establish the prevalence of biological accidents, and its associated factors and behaviors among medical students. Materiales and methods: Medical students in clinical clerkships from Universidad Industrial de Santander were surveyed. The survey instrument asked about the use of protective elements, the characteristics and behaviors associated to the last biological accident suffered by the student. Gathered data were analyzed as percentages and means. To evaluate associated factors, Prevalence Ratios and its CI 95% were calculated. Results: Three hundred thirty students were surveyed. Routine use of gloves was reported by 99.3%, double gloving by 13.9%, disposable masks by 77.4% and protective eyewear by 30.7%. Prevalence of biological accidents was 18.0%, which increased with seniority. Accidents were not reported to the occupational health office in 48% of cases. A positive association was found between suffering at least one accident during the career and the complete use of protective elements in third and fourth year students, PR=2.92 (CI 95% 0.95-8.93); while for fifth and sixth year students it was negative, PR=0.84 (CI 95% 0.50-1.41, p=0.0479). Conclusion: Biological accidents are frequent among our medical students. The importance of using protective elements must be emphasized during the first years of training. Medical students must be educated about the key role of reporting accidents and about post-exposure protocols. Salud UIS 2010; 42: 192-199

Keywords : Needlestick injuries; blood-borne pathogens; occupational exposure; occupational health; medical students; medical education; prevalence.

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