Author(s): Goto M, Yamashita T, Misawa S, Komori T, Okuzumi K, , Goto M, Yamashita T, Misawa S, Komori T, Okuzumi K,
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Abstract To determine the status of biosafety in clinical laboratories in Japan, we conducted a survey using questionnaires on the biosafety of laboratory personnel in 2004. We obtained data from 431 hospitals (response: 59.5\%). Respondents were 301 institutions (70\%) having biological safety cabinets (BSCs). BSCs were held in 78\% of microbiological laboratories, 7.9\% of genetic laboratories, 2.7\% of histopathological laboratories, and 1\% or less at other laboratories. A clean bench in examination rooms for acid-fast bacilli was applied at 20 hospitals. We found 28 cases of possible laboratory-associated tuberculosis infection, 25 of which were associated with lack of BSC. Other risk factors were immature skills and insufficiently skilled eguipment operation. The frequency of rupture accidents during specimen centrifugation was 67\% in dealing with blood and 9.7\% in collecting acid-fast bacilli. Half or more accidents were related to inadequate sample tube materials. Technologists were shown to be working on blood collection in many hospitals (75\%), and 1,534 events of self-inflicted needle puncture developed in the last 5 years. These results suggest that biosafety systems are woefully lacking or inadequate in clinical laboratories in Japan and must be established at the earliest possible opportunity.
This article was published in Kansenshogaku Zasshi
and referenced in Medical Safety & Global Health