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Resuscitation. 2008 Jun;77(3):356-62. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2007.12.009. Epub 2008 Mar 17.

Lack of compliance with basic infection control measures during cardiopulmonary resuscitation--are we ready for another epidemic?

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Department of Emergency Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.



Healthcare workers in the emergency department are particularly vulnerable to communicable disease. This study aimed to evaluate compliance with standard precautions by analysis of the incidence and systems sources of such contaminations and by quantifying the use of personal protective equipment.


A prospective observational study from 1 November 2005 to 30 April 2006, using analysis of video segments. Videotapes were recorded in two rooms designed for cardiopulmonary resuscitation of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, and compliance with basic infection control measures by all emergency department crews was monitored.


A total of 44 consecutive performances of cardiopulmonary resuscitation were recorded for time-motion analysis. The percentages of staff wearing personal protective equipment were 90%, 50%, 20% and 75% for masks, eye protection, gowns and gloves, respectively. Compliance ranking scored doctors as high, trainees as moderate and nursing staff as low. Overall contamination rate was 16.9x10(-2) events/person-min. The two leading systems sources for contamination were lack of specific task assignments among rescuers (44%) and inadequate preparation for procedures (42%).


Among healthcare workers in the emergency setting, the study disclosed suboptimal compliance with basic infection control measures, including use of personal protective equipment and avoiding contamination. By further time-motion analysis of resuscitation sessions, major systems sources and strategies for improvement could be identified.

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