Infection prevention and control practices of ambulatory veterinarians : A questionnaire study in Finland

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/333188

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Verkola , M , Jarvelä , T , Järvinen , A , Jokelainen , P , Virtala , A-M , Kinnunen , P M & Heikinheimo , A 2021 , ' Infection prevention and control practices of ambulatory veterinarians : A questionnaire study in Finland ' , Veterinary medicine and science , vol. 7 , no. 4 , pp. 1059-1070 . https://doi.org/10.1002/vms3.464

Title: Infection prevention and control practices of ambulatory veterinarians : A questionnaire study in Finland
Author: Verkola, Marie; Jarvelä, Terhi; Järvinen, Asko; Jokelainen, Pikka; Virtala, Anna-Maija; Kinnunen, Paula M.; Heikinheimo, Annamari
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Food Hygiene and Environmental Health
University of Helsinki, HUS Inflammation Center
University of Helsinki, Departments of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
University of Helsinki, Veterinary Biosciences
University of Helsinki, Departments of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
University of Helsinki, Helsinki One Health (HOH)
Date: 2021-07
Language: eng
Number of pages: 12
Belongs to series: Veterinary medicine and science
ISSN: 2053-1095
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/333188
Abstract: Background: Veterinarians face the risk of contracting zoonotic pathogens. Infection prevention and control (IPC) guidelines stress the importance of proper hand hygiene and personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent transmission of these pathogens. Objectives: We aimed to assess how ambulatory livestock and equine veterinarians follow IPC guidelines, when working on farms and in stables. Methods: We studied hygiene practices of livestock and equine ambulatory veterinarians (n = 129) in Finland. A web-based questionnaire was used to obtain demographic information and information regarding hand-hygiene facilities and practices, use and cleaning of PPE and cleaning of medical equipment. Results: According to 66.9% of the respondents, hand-washing facilities were often adequate on livestock farms, but only 21.4% reported that this was the case in stables (p <.001). While 75.0% reported washing their hands or using hand sanitizer always before moving on to the next farm, only 42.5% reported doing this before moving on to the next stables (p <.001). Universal protective coat or coverall use was more common in livestock practice than in equine practice (91.6% vs. 27.7%, p <.001). Stethoscope cleaning was reported to happen less frequently than once a week by 30.0% of the respondents. Conclusions: Finnish veterinarians' self-reported IPC adherence was far from uniform. IPC was more commonly followed in ambulatory livestock practice perhaps facilitated by better hand-washing facilities on farms than in stables. The study suggests that education of veterinarians is still needed and that hand-washing facilities need to be improved even in a high-income country.
Subject: hand hygiene
infection control
personal protective equipment
veterinarians
zoonoses
413 Veterinary science
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