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Infections in British clinical laboratories 1980-81.
  1. N R Grist


    This survey through the Association of Clinical Pathologists was continued and extended for 1980-81, with the help of the Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences. Hepatitis maintained a low attack rate of 26/100 000 person-years, including only three cases of hepatitis B probably attributable to laboratory work (attack rate 9). Nineteen cases of tuberculosis (attack rate 56) included 14 of probable occupational origin (attack rate 41) half of which involved post-mortem or mortuary work. Thirteen bacterial infections of the bowel (attack rate 38, predominantly shigellosis) involved almost exclusively microbiology MLSOs, with 10 attributed to laboratory work (attack rate 29). The seven other infections included 4 of occupational sepsis in morbid anatomy and post-mortem workers. There appears to be scope for improvement in bacteriological bench techniques particularly at the faeces bench and for reduction in the hazards of tuberculosis and sepsis for morbid anatomy and mortuary workers.

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