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.
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.
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.
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
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)
Objective—To determine current practices regarding
use of antimicrobials in equine patients undergoing
surgery because of colic at veterinary teaching hospitals.
Sample Population—Diplomates of the American
College of Veterinary Surgeons performing equine
surgery at veterinary teaching hospitals in the United
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)