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A study of knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding biomedical waste management among the health-care workers in a multispeciality teaching hospital at Delhi

Ravi Kant Sehgal, Rinku Garg, Paramjit Singh Dhot, Parul Singhal.

Abstract
Background: There is an increased global awareness among health professionals about the health hazards owing to biomedical waste (BMW) and appropriate management techniques, but the level of awareness in India is found to be unsatisfactory. Adequate knowledge about the health hazards of hospital waste, proper techniques and methods of handling the waste, and practice of safety measures can go a long way toward the safe disposal of hazardous hospital waste and protect the community from various adverse effects of the hazardous waste

Objective: To find out the knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding BMW management among the health-care workers (HCWs).

Materials and Methods: This hospital-based, cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted in a 998-bedded multispeciality teaching hospital, in Delhi, from March 2 to April 10, 2013. The study consisted of 120 HCWs as participants, which included 30 doctors, 30 nurses, 30 laboratory staffs, and 30 sanitary staffs. A predesigned structured questionnaire consisting of 24 questions was administered to the participants after obtaining their consent and briefing them about the study. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistical methods applying 2-test to the frequency tables as a test of significance.

Result: Correct color coding for waste disposal was known to 84.2% of respondents, and awareness about transmission of important diseases such as HIV infection and hepatitis B through BMW was known to 66.7% of the participants. The practice of recapping of used needles, which is one of the important risk factors for needle-stick injuries was found among 25.8% of respondents and was the highest among the sanitary staffs (83.3%). Awareness about the practice of initiating accident reporting pro forma on contact with blood/body fluids of HIV-infected patients was found to be 77.5% overall and only 10% among the sanitary staffs. Similarly, the awareness about the practice of postexposure prophylaxis for the prevention of HIV infection was found to be 71.7% overall and only 10% among the sanitary staffs, which could be owing to their poor literacy status. However, the attitude of all HCWs including the sanitary staffs toward BMW management was positive and favorable.

Conclusion: Training of the sanitary staff on all aspects of BMW management will lead to a further improvement in BMW disposal in the hospital.

Key words: Biomedical waste, health-care worker, knowledge, awareness, attitude



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