Knowledge and practice of universal precautions among healthcare workers in a tertiary hospital in Lagos, Nigeria. – C.C. Egwuatu, O.O. Oduyebo, C. Egwuatu, and G.I Ogba.
A study of the knowledge and practice of Universal Precautions was carried out among the healthcare workers of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria. We surveyed 340 healthcare workers consisting of 147 doctors, 101 nurses, 47 laboratory scientists and 9 ward assistances took part in the study. Of the 340 healthcare workers, 330 (97%) of the respondents were quite familiar with the concept of Universal Precaution. There seems to be higher level of knowledge among the healthcare workers in clinical areas (96%) than those in the laboratory areas (35%). The low level (42%) of awareness and practice of Universal Precautions despite their good knowledge on such an important precautionary measures raises a lot of concern about the level of consciousness of the respondents about personal protection with respect to blood-borne infections especially in a working environment where the prevalence of nosocomial infection seem to be higher than what was recorded in the previous study among similar population. We concluded that safety education which is a component in the training of healthcare workers be strengthened so that while caring for the sick, care providers will not get themselves infected.