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:3/20/2017)... 2017 At this year,s CeBIT Chancellor Dr. ... DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the DERMALOG stand together with the Japanese ... CeBIT partner country. At the largest German biometrics company the two government ... and iris recognition as well as DERMALOG´s multi-biometrics system.   ... ...
(Date:3/16/2017)... - Against identity fraud with DERMALOG solutions "Made in Germany "  ... ... multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against identity fraud. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against identity ... ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... Australia , March 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... at the prestigious World Lung Imaging Workshop at the ... Fouras , was invited to deliver the latest data ... This globally recognised event brings together leaders at the ... latest developments in lung imaging. "The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... Baltimore ... Bioflash MailGuardtm mail security screening solution at the National Postal Forum 2017 in ... provides a fast, highly accurate, easy to use and low cost threat detection ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... Va. (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... make headlines and drive high-level conversations among healthcare industry stakeholders, the discussion surrounding ... Environment – taking place May 15-18, 2017 in Los Angeles, Calif. Hosted by ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... As part of the Stago EdVantage Virtual ... testing for DIC in order to illuminate this clinical problem for people unfamiliar with ... patients resulting in a high degree of morbidity and mortality. DIC is a confusing ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... is pleased to announce the company is now a certified iMedNet eClinical and ... software certification enables the company’s clinical research team to build, customize and manage ...
Breaking Biology Technology: