Chemical and Biological Risks in Professionals Working in Operating Rooms
Certain health professionals are at risk of having work-related accidents, mainly due to the contact with biological and chemical materials. The operating room is a place where this type of accident occurs frequently.
This work addresses the problematic of occupational risks associated with operating rooms, aiming to identify and analyze the biological and chemical risks, as well as the professionals’ behaviors towards them. The possible operating rooms risks will be presented through the analysis of the results of a questionnaire distributed to operating room health professionals from a hospital in northern Portugal.
Eighty six professionals participated in this study through the completion of the questionnaire. The results revealed the occurrence of 39.5% (95% CI [29.3%, 50.7%]) of accidents involving biological material, and 11.8% (95% CI [6.1%, 21.0%]) of accidents involving chemical material. Not all professionals have had training in occupational risks (63.5% and 47.0% reported having had training in biological risks and chemical risks, respectively). Fisher’s exact test did not reveal a statistically significant association (p > 0.05) between having had training in biological/chemical risks and having had an accident involving biological/chemical material. The chi-square independence test revealed a statistically significant association (X2 = 25.978, df = 3, p < 0.05) between the occurrence of accidents involving biological material and the professional category. The occurrence of this type of accident is directly related to the professionals “surgeons”.
It is suggested that health professionals and the Institution itself be more involved in risk prevention and, mainly, in promoting a safe working environment.
KeywordsOperating room Chemical risk Biological risk
This work has been supported by COMPETE: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007043 and FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e para a Tecnologia - within the Project Scope: UID/CEC/00319/2013.
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