Stable surgical teams see fewer sharps-related exposures, study finds

Surgical team members who frequently work together are less likely to experience sharps-related percutaneous blood and body fluid exposures during surgical procedures, according to a recent study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

The authors of the study examined data on more than 300,000 surgical procedures performed between 2001 and 2010, looking at the stability of the surgical teams involved and the percutaneous BBFE rates they reported. A team's stability was based on how often the surgical team members worked together in the six months prior to the procedure.

The study revealed an association between the team stability index and the risk of percutaneous BBFE. This association was less pronounced for percutaneous BBFE involving suture needles than for exposures involving other devices.

"Additional research should be conducted on the basis of primary data gathered specifically to measure qualities of relationships among surgical team personnel," the authors concluded.



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