A Comparison of Infection Control Practices in Pathology Laboratories of Government-Teaching Hospitals and Private Sector in Lahore
Keywords:Infection control, infection control practices, pathology laboratories
A questionnaire study was designed to collect and compare information obtained from workers in six government-teaching hospital laboratories (GTH-Labs) and thirteen private sector laboratories (PS-Labs) in Lahore area. Two aspects of laboratory safety were studied Infection control (IC) practices and presence of commonly used items of infection control. Results revealed that of IC practices, hand washing before blood collection from the patient was the least popular IC ritual with workers from only one PS-Lab practicing it. Wearing of gloves before blood collection from the patient was practiced more often, again by workers in the private sector laboratories. Hand washing after sample collection was the most practiced IC ritual with workers in half of the laboratories in both sectors practicing it. Similarly syringe-needle crushing after drawing of blood was practiced in about half the laboratories. As for the presence and usage of a common surface disinfectant, more than 50% laboratories in both sectors were without even a single disinfectant. Verification for items of Infection control revealed that with the exception of gloves, none of the laboratories in both sectors were fully equipped with the remaining four common item s (eye goggles, eye irrigation solution, plastic aprons & first aid kit). In conclusion, laboratories in both sectors need to be equipped with at least the basic items of Infection control. There is no uniformity about Infect ion control practices pathology laboratories in both sectors. The most important practice of hand washing is a neglected aspect in our laboratories and workers should be trained to wash hands using defined method of hand washing before and after taking sample from the patient. There is an urgent need to have standard set of safety regulations applicable to all pathology laboratories for worker and patient safety.
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