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A report by the Hong Kong government noted that hospital infection control standards were inadequate, requiring audit, development and implementation. In addition, hospital staff needed training in infection control measures. We investigated infection control practices among 162 hospital health workers (109 nurses, 45 doctors and 8 therapists) and 44 support workers in one acute hospital and two rehabilitation hospitals using a non-blinded, observational design. We examined compliance with isolation precautions and infection control guidelines, including proper wearing of a mask, goggles/face shield, or gown; handling patient care equipment, linen, and laundry; routine and terminal cleaning; and terminal cleaning of an isolation room. One major breakdown in compliance was use of sleeveless disposable plastic aprons instead of long-sleeved gowns during procedures likely to generate splashes or sprays of blood and body fluids. In more than half of the observed episodes, participants failed to disinfect medical devices, such as stethoscopes, before re-use. Thorough cleansing of commodes between patients was also lacking. Overall compliance with local and international infection control guidelines was satisfactory, but several aspects required improvement.


School of Nursing, Midwifery & Paramedicine

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Journal Article

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