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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 149-155

Knowledge and Practice of Standard Precautions by Health-Care Workers in a Tertiary Health Institution in Enugu, Nigeria

1 Department of Community Medicine, Enugu State University College of Medicine, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria
4 Department of Community Medicine, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. A C Ndu
Department of Community Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_69_17

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Background: Standard precautions (SPs) are crucial in protecting both health-care workers (HCWs) and patients from nosocomial infections. This study assessed the knowledge and practices of SP among HCWs in tertiary health-care facilities. Methods: This descriptive study was done in October 2014 among 629 HCWs at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State. A pretested questionnaire was used and analysis done using SPSS version 13. Results: The HCWs studied were 629, mostly females (64.4%), married (62.3%), Christians (94%), and within 20–59 years. Majority were nurses (46.1%) working in the wards. Over 90% of respondents had heard of SP, mainly from formal training (62%). Over 70% could define SP, 74.6% had knowledge of when SP is needed and >70% identified most components of SP. Over 90% agreed that SPs are useful and that employers should provide SP training. Most respondents washed hands after removal of gloves (73.6%) and before leaving patient's care area (33.1%). More than 70% had been exposed to patient's body fluids and washed the exposed part with water, soap, and disinfectant (52.1%). Gloves were the most commonly used personal protective equipment (PPE) (53.4%) and the major reason for inconsistent use was irregular access (57.7%). Over 50% recap needles before discarding. Exposure to patients' serum was significantly higher among doctors and nurses P < 0.05, while the use of PPEs was highest among the laboratory scientists (82.4%). Those who were trained on SP (70.8%) and PPE (69.7) were significantly more likely to use PPEs, P < 0.05. Conclusions: SP training and regular provision of PPEs are vital in compliance to SP.

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