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:2/2/2016)... YORK , Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... facilities are primarily focused on medical screening ... measure point-of-care parameters. Wearable devices that facilitate ... user,s freedom of movement are being bolstered ... for human biomedical signal acquisition coupled with ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2016   Parabon NanoLabs (Parabon) announced ... Research Office and the Defense Forensics and Biometrics ... the company,s Snapshot Kinship Inference software ... generally, defense-related DNA forensics.  Although Snapshot is best ... and ancestry from DNA evidence), it also has ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... MELBOURNE, Fla. , Feb. 1, 2016  Wocket® smart wallet ( ... actor and television personality, Joey Fatone . Las ... and greet fans. --> Las Vegas , ... --> The new video ad was filmed at the ... Joey appeared at the Wocket booth to meet and greet fans. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... Calif. , Feb. 11, 2016  Dovetail Genomics™ ... to its beta program for a planned metagenomic genome ... present the company,s metagenomic genome assembly method in a ... in Genome Biology & Technology conference in ... of these highly complex datasets is difficult. Using its ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... Global Stem ... clinic in Quito, Ecuador. The new facility will provide advanced protocols and state-of-the-art ... around the world. , The new GSCG clinic is headed by four ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... is introducing a hybrid membership model which will provide ... joining or renewing through an organizational purchasing model. For ... employee in any size association or AMC office can ... benefits.   John H. Graham, IV , ... organizations of any size and their employees to gain ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Benchmark Research, a fully-integrated network of ... principal investigators (PI) to the roles of Chief Medical Officer, Clinical Research and ... Chu, a Benchmark Research PI in the Austin office, will assume the role ...
Breaking Biology Technology: