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Three in four hospital interns take blood without gloves

A survey of medical interns in two of Dublin’s teaching hospitals reveals that just 26 per cent wear gloves when taking blood.

Image: Thirteen Of Clubs via Flickr

ALMOST THREE-QUARTERS of hospital interns in Dublin’s teaching hospitals do not wear gloves while taking blood, according to a new survey.

The Medical Independent reports that the survey, carried out among interns last year, found that just 26 per cent of respondents would routine wear gloves when taking blood.

The survey also found that over a quarter of trainees had suffered ‘needlestick injuries’ during their first eight months of training; among the factors that young doctors blamed for the injuries were fatigue and long working hours.

Such injuries most commonly happened 18 hours into an intern’s shift, the survey found, and while more than half of them occurred during the night-time hours of between 12am and 8am.

The survey, published in a recent issue of the Irish Journal of Medical Science, also found that most interns believed they had not been adequately trained in the appropriate techniques of phlebotomy (the practice of drawing blood) and cannulation (the practice of inserting tubes below the skin).

Most doctors said they did not usually wear gloves when taking blood samples because doing so made it difficult to isolate a vein.

Other findings of the survey, mentioned in Ailbhe Jordan’s article, were that a third of interns were in breach of a EU directive banning the re-sheathing and needles after use.

Read more in the Medical Independent >

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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