Occupational hazards for surgeons
Keywords:Infectious Diseases. Risk. Infection. Physicians. Life. Risk Factors. Punishment. Risk Assessment. Occupational Medicine.
Background In spite of the radical advances made in the field of surgery to save lives, we find it is the surgeons who are becoming the patients by being exposed to a host of occupational hazards, which places them at a significant risk of acquiring many infectious diseases in addition to other safety threats. In context to guidelines set down by International Labor Organization the hazards a surgeon can face at work can be broadly categorized into Accidental, Chemical, Biological, and Ergonomic, Psychosocial and Organizational Hazards. Objectives To identify the occupational hazards surgeons face in our set-up and their inevitable consequences as compared to international standards. Setting The survey was carried out in a major tertiary care hospital of Lahore with inspection of operation theatres, surgical emergency room, and surgical wards. Results The surgeons in our setup are exposed to infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B and C, HIV and typhoid via accidental pinpricks from infected needles and s harps due to multiple hazards. Other risks include latex sensitization, back problems, post-traumatic stress syndrome and many others. Conclusion Spread of awareness of these occupational hazards should be undertaken with a change in attitudes.
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