Advertisement

Occupationally acquired infectious diseases among health care workers in Brazil: Use of Internet tools to improve management, prevention, and surveillance

      Background

      Education is a major component of prevention strategies to reduce the risk of occupational transmission of bloodborne pathogens to health care personnel.

      Methods

      This study describes the results of an Internet-based project, “Projeto Riscobiologico.org”, for which the main objectives are to disseminate information in the Portuguese language about occupational exposures to bloodborne pathogens through a mailing list and Web site as well as to increase case reports of these events in Brazil.

      Results

      The mailing list expanded quickly with a total of 2078 participants (from 337 different cities and all Brazilian states), and 5613 messages were exchanged over a 5-year period. Mean length of participation was almost 2 years (697 days). Most of the participants (74%) reported that they frequently manage occupational exposures. Nevertheless, results showed an important lack of basic knowledge regarding this issue. In contrast with the high participation in the mailing list, a small number of institutions started to participate in the voluntary surveillance system.

      Conclusion

      The Internet can be used as a tool to increase knowledge and improve practices in the prevention of occupational bloodborne pathogen exposures. In addition, it may represent a unique opportunity to implement a national surveillance system.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to American Journal of Infection Control
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

      1. Prüss-Üstün A, Rapiti E, Hutin Y. Sharps injuries: Global burden of disease from sharps injuries to health-care workers. Environmental Burden of disease series No.3, WHO 2003:1-39.

        • Sepkowitz K.A.
        Occupationally acquired infections in health care workers. Part II.
        Ann Intern Med. 1996; 125: 917-928
      2. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention. Workbook for designing, implementing, and evaluating a sharps injury prevention program. 2004. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/sharpssafety/. Accessed July 1, 2005.

      3. Netcraft. October 2005 Web server survey. 2005. Available at: http://news.netcraft.com/archives/web_server_survey.html. Accessed October 25, 2005.

      4. The Radicati Group Inc. Worldwide E-mail traffic, 2005-2009. Available at: http://www.radicati.com. Accessed July 10, 2005.

        • Burton P.F.
        Electronic mail as an academic discussion forum.
        J Doc. 1994; 50: 99-110
        • Prasad S.
        Internet mailing lists: A primer.
        J R Coll Surg Edinb. 2000; 45: 122-126
      5. Ethnologue. Languages of the World, 2004. Available at: http://www.ethnologue.com/home.asp. Accessed January 29, 2006.

      6. Matzat U. Informal academic communication and scientific usage of internet discussion groups. Available at: http://sosig.ac.uk/iriss/papers/paper19.htm. Accessed July 10, 2005.

        • Worth E.R.
        • Patrick T.B.
        Do electronic mail discussion lists act as virtual colleagues?.
        Proc AMIA Annu Fall Symp. 1997; 8280: 325-329
        • Culver J.D.
        • Gerr F.
        • Frumkin H.
        Medical information on the Internet: A study of an electronic bulletin board.
        J Gen Intern Med. 1997; 12: 466-470
        • Madoff L.C.
        ProMED-mail: An early warning system for emerging diseases.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2004; 39: 227-232
        • Canady J.W.
        • Cram A.
        • Thompson S.A.
        • Barnes I.
        • Ricciardelli E.
        • Chang P.
        Using Internet as an educational/survey tool.
        Plast Reconstr Surg. 1996; 98: 908-909