In six hospitals of the Lombardy Region 3.000 questionnaires have been circulated to evaluate the degree of awareness and information of the personnel with respect to the behavior to be adopted at the occasion of an accidental exposure to the blood of patients. Up to 63% (1896) of the original questionnaires were available for the analysis. The mean of the responses which can be considered correct for the professional level involved, does not seem to be an area-dependent variable. The number of correct answers declines proportionally as the age increases. A drastic difference in the degree of knowledge is documented to exist between general and professional nurses, who however are exposed to the same risk. The ignorance on the role and choice of disinfectants and on the way of disposing of used needles is particularly striking. The results of the questionnaire, mainly when they are referred to each hospital, are easily utilizable to finalize and support information and training programs.
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