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Article
January 1993

The Risk of Exposure of Third-Year Surgical Clerks to Human Immunodeficiency Virus in the Operating Room

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Dr Davis) and Medicine (Dr Roberts), Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY. Ms Vergilio is a medical student at Cornell University Medical College.

Arch Surg. 1993;128(1):36-39. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1993.01420130040007
Abstract

• The exposure of third-year medical students to blood and blood products in the operating room was assessed with a questionnaire distributed at the end of their clerkship in surgery. Sixty-six (68%) of ninety-seven students reported having been exposed to blood in the operating room during their 3-month rotation in surgery. During the year there was a decrease in the exposure rate that correlated with the students' knowledge of universal precautions (r=.96). Consistent with this observation was a significant decrease in the exposure rate from the first quarter of the year to the last quarter (88% vs 56% of the students). Of the 32 students stuck or cut in the operating room, 21 (66%) were injured by the surgeon. These data underscore the risk to medical students during their clerkships and the important role that universal precautions had in their protection.

(Arch Surg. 1993;128:36-39)

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