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Abstract

Objective—To assess perceptions of personnel working at a veterinary teaching hospital regarding risks of occupational hazards and compare those perceptions with assessments made by occupational safety experts.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Study Population—A representative sample of personnel (n = 90) working at the veterinary teaching hospital at Colorado State University and a panel of 3 occupational safety experts.

Procedures—Hospital personnel ranked perceptions of 14 physical, chemical, and biological workplace hazards and listed the injuries, illnesses, and near misses they had experienced. The expert panel provided consensus rankings of the same 14 hazards for 9 sections of the facility. Risk perceptions provided by the 2 sources were compared.

Results—Risk perceptions did not differ significantly between hospital personnel and the expert panel for most of the site-specific comparisons (94/126 [75%]). Personnel perceived greater risks for some physical hazards (loud noises, sharps injuries, and ionizing radiation) and some chemical or materials exposures (insecticides or pesticides and tissue digester emissions). In contrast, the expert panel perceived greater risks for physical hazards (bite or crush and restraining and moving animals), chemical exposures (anesthetic waste gas), and biological exposures (Toxoplasma gondii, antimicrobial-resistant bacteria, and allergens).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Participants and safety experts had similar perceptions about occupational risks, but there were important differences where hospital personnel apparently overestimated or underappreciated the risks for workplace hazards. This type of study may be useful in guiding development of optimal workplace safety programs for veterinary hospitals.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To describe antimicrobial susceptibility testing practices of veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the United States and evaluate the feasibility of collating this information for the purpose of monitoring antimicrobial resistance in bacterial isolates from animals.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Procedures—A questionnaire was mailed to veterinary diagnostic laboratories throughout the United States to identify those laboratories that conduct susceptibility testing. Nonrespondent laboratories were followed up through telephone contact and additional mailings. Data were gathered regarding methods of susceptibility testing, standardization of methods, data management, and types of isolates tested.

Results—Eighty-six of 113 (76%) laboratories responded to the survey, and 64 of the 86 (74%) routinely performed susceptibility testing on bacterial isolates from animals. Thirty-four of the 36 (94%) laboratories accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians responded to the survey. Laboratories reported testing > 160,000 bacterial isolates/y. Fifty-one (88%) laboratories reported using the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion test to evaluate antimicrobial susceptibility; this accounted for 65% of the isolates tested. Most (87%) laboratories used the NCCLS (National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards) documents for test interpretation. Seventy-five percent of the laboratories performed susceptibility testing on bacterial isolates only when they were potential pathogens.

Conclusions—The veterinary diagnostic laboratories represent a comprehensive source of data that is not easily accessible in the United States. Variability in testing methods and data storage would present challenges for data aggregation, summary, and interpretation. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:168–173)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine current practices regarding use of antimicrobials in equine patients undergoing surgery because of colic at veterinary teaching hospitals.

Design—Survey.

Sample Population—Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons performing equine surgery at veterinary teaching hospitals in the United States.

Procedure—A Web-based questionnaire was developed, and 85 surgeons were asked to participate. The first part of the survey requested demographic information and information about total number of colic surgeries performed at the hospital, number of colic surgeries performed by the respondent, and whether the hospital had written guidelines for antimicrobial drug use. The second part pertained to nosocomial infections. The third part provided several case scenarios and asked respondents whether they would use antimicrobial drugs in these instances.

Results—Thirty-four (40%) surgeons responded to the questionnaire. Respondents indicated that most equine patients undergoing surgery because of colic at veterinary teaching hospitals in the United States received antimicrobial drugs. Drugs that were used were similar for the various hospitals that were represented, and for the most part, the drugs that were used were fairly uniform irrespective of the type of colic, whereas the duration of treatment varied with the type of colic and the surgical findings. The combination of potassium penicillin and gentamicin was the most commonly used treatment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study document the implementation of recommendations by several authors in veterinary texts that antimicrobial drugs be administered perioperatively in equine patients with colic that are undergoing surgery. However, the need for long-term antimicrobial drug treatment in equine patients with colic is unknown. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:1359–1365)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association