Few studies of occupational exposure (OE) to infectious risk among emergency medical personnel (EMP) or their use of personal protective equipment (PPE) have been conducted in the Republic of Korea.Objective:
To determine the status of OE to infectious risks and use of PPE.Methods:
A convenience sample of 907 questionnaires (response rate, 88.5%) was collected from September 1, 2014, to January 31, 2015, in 5 metropolitan Korean cities.Results:
Respiratory diseases were significantly prevalent (44.5%) and influenza (29.5%) was the most frequently reported illness. An exposure report was only made in 19.5% of cases. The primary reason for OE report noncompletion was the complexity of the reporting process (23.9%). A total of 365 participants reported OE to body fluids and blood (40.2%) with needlestick injury being the most frequent OE type (17.6%). More than 5 years of job experience (47.8%) (P < .001) and region (city) (P = .003) significantly increased OE to body fluids and blood. Puncture-resistant containers (71.9%) and disposable gloves (68.9%) were used. Job training and education on infection risks and use of PPE were not uniformly conducted (77.5%). Anxiety about OE to risk of infection from patients was common among EMP (63.2%).Conclusions:
EMP experienced significant OE to infectious risk and use PPE inadequately. Surveillance and education programs regarding OE should be developed.