Navigation Links
Polonium poisoning case sheds light on infection control practices
Date:9/12/2011

A study published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, uses a famous case of international intrigue and murder to shed new light on the risks health care workers face while treating patients with radiation poisoning.

The study focused on hospital staff involved in the care of Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian dissident and former KGB operative who died from Polonium-210 poisoning in a London hospital in 2006. While who poisoned Litvinenko remains unknown, public health officials can use the case to investigate best practices for keeping health care workers safe in the event of future acts of "nuclear terrorism."

An initial investigation by health care officials revealed that several doctors, nurses and lab technicians involved in Litvinenko's care had trace amounts of Polonium in their urine samples. Though the amounts were no threat to the workers' health, research sought to identify what kinds are care activities place workers at the most risk for radiation exposure, said Olivier le Polain de Waroux, the study's lead author.

Le Polain de Waroux and his team interviewed 37 health care workers, eight of whom had tested positive for Polonium contamination, to find out exactly how they had been involved in Litvinenko's care.

"We found that those involved with routine daily care had a higher risk of radiation contamination," said le Polain de Waroux, who is a researcher with the Health Protection Agency in London and the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

Specifically, the higher risk was associated with the handling of the patient's blood and urine samples, either in the hospital ward or in the lab. In contrast, staff involved with invasive clinical activities carried little risk of contamination, probably because standard clinical practices to avoid infection also helped to prevent radiation exposure, the researchers say.

"Our findings suggest that more attention should be given to infection control practices during daily activities that are not normally considered risky," le Polain de Waroux said. "The study could have implications for managing patient care in general, including to those with other infectious and non-infectious diseases transmitted through similar routes as radiation."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tamara Moore
tmoore@gymr.com
202-745-5114
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. American birds of prey at higher risk of poisoning from pest control chemicals
2. Multiple sclerosis drug serves as model for potential drugs to treat botulism poisoning
3. Lead poisoning maps in R.I. reveal huge disparities, guide cleanup
4. Talented bacteria make food poisoning unpredictable
5. Tobacco companys new, dissolvable nicotine products could lead to accidental poisoning
6. Hormone therapy for food poisoning bacteria
7. Pediatric carbon monoxide poisoning linked to video games after Hurricane Ike
8. Study finds homicidal poisoning rising, more likely in infants and elderly
9. Stanford scientists find new solutions for the arsenic-poisoning crisis in Asia
10. Cause of mussel poisoning identified
11. The genome of mesopolyploid crop Brassica rapa sheds new light on the study of genome evolution
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/3/2017)... A new independent identity strategy consultancy firm ... . Designed to fill a critical niche in technical ... partners Mark Crego and Janice Kephart ... identity expertise that span federal governments, the 9/11 Commission, ... combined expertise has a common theme born from a ...
(Date:1/31/2017)... , Jan. 31, 2017  Spero Therapeutics, ... therapies for the treatment of bacterial infections, today ... of antibacterial candidates from Pro Bono Bio Ltd ... prevalence of multi-drug resistant forms of Gram-negative bacteria.  ... Anti Infectives Ltd, a PBB group company. ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... Jan. 24, 2017 Biopharm Reports has ... laboratory use of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). ... and profiled current practices, developments, trends and end-user ... as growth and opportunities. These areas include growth ... instruments, needs and innovation requirements, hyphenated NMR techniques, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/28/2017)... ... ... ACEA Biosciences, a pioneer in cell analysis instrumentation and the development of ... as the new Vice President of Global Clinical Development. With more than 15 ... will now team with Dr. Li Xu, Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Xiao Xu, ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... ... February 28, 2017 , ... ... science and biotechnology companies today announced it named Joan Siefert Rose as ... out of Durham, NC and will begin work immediately. , Rose most recently ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... , Feb. 28, 2017 Sangamo ... genome editing, today reported its fourth quarter and ... "Early this year we rebranded our ... clinical development of genomic therapies using our industry ... gene regulation and cell therapy," said Sandy ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... 2017 A Europe-wide survey of institutes conducted ... animals in their research treat them with due care. The survey ... analysis of the results indicates that there is a strong commitment ... into practice the principles of the 3Rs (Refine, Reduce, Replace)  ... What are the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: