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July 10, 2002

Policies for Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens Among US-Based International Voluntary Medical Organizations

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2002;288(2):166. doi:10.1001/jama.288.2.162

To the Editor: Health care workers who spend time in developing countries are at increased risk of infectious diseases from occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens (BBPs) due to lack of personal protective equipment, inadequate sharps protection, and reuse of products designed for single use.1 US-based volunteer organizations that send medical volunteers to developing countries are not required to comply with the safety and health regulations formulated by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration(OSHA) (J. Howard, California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, written communication, March 6, 2002). We surveyed US volunteer health care organizations that provide medical care in developing countries with higher than average worldwide prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to assess their BBP practices and policies.

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