We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

Universal Precautions Are Not Universally Followed

Kenneth R. Courington, MD; Sarah L. Patterson, MD; Richard J. Howard, MD, PhD
Arch Surg. 1991;126(1):93-96. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1991.01410250099016.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


• Adherence to universal blood and body fluid precautions was studied in surgical patient care areas of a university hospital in an effort to identify potentially hazardous health care personnel practices. Surgical teams of an 18-unit operating room, three surgical ward patient care teams, and patient care personnel in a 16-bed surgical intensive care unit were observed during routine patient care activities before (study 1) and after (study 2) specific educational programs were held to improve universal precaution compliance. Overall, infractions occurred in 57% of 549 observed procedures in study 1 and in 58% of 616 observed procedures in study 2. In study 1, infractions occurred in 75% of operating room procedures, 30% of surgical ward procedures, and 75% of surgical intensive care unit procedures. Study 2 procedure infraction rates were 81%, 32%, and 40%, respectively. Only surgical intensive care unit compliance significantly improved. Noncompliance with universal precautions occurs frequently during the care of patients who have undergone surgery, with the type of infraction and specific offender varying according to patient locale. These violations appear unamenable to one-time educational efforts. Substantial overall improvement may arise from ongoing educational programs directed at specific personnel who care for patients who have undergone surgery.

(Arch Surg. 1991;126:93-96)


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.