Cunha, Bruce E.
cunha.bruce at marshfieldclinic.org
Wed Jun 18 09:05:04 PDT 2014
My two cents: Similar to Shingles, if the area can be covered so there is no hand contact or weeping, it probably is ok for the employee to work, but I would follow your policy. You put yourself in a sticky situation from a liability standpoint if you do not follow your policy. An option would be to provide duty in an area where patient contact or contamination of equipment is not an issue.
The question I would ask is "what would be the headlines in the media, if an infection were to occur to a patient and they learned you allowed this employee to work with patients? " You might be totally correct from an infection control standpoint, but are going to get killed in the court of public opinion.
If you asked her provider to cover any liability issues from her returning to that job, I wonder if he would give the same answer.
Bruce E. Cunha RN MS COHN-S
Manager, Employee Health and Safety
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From: MCOH-EH [mailto:mcoh-eh-bounces at mylist.net] On Behalf Of Senior, Cathy (DRMC)
Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 10:55 AM
Subject: [MCOH-EH] MRSA
I am reaching out to find our what other facilities do when an employee (who works in the operating room) has an open draining wound (non work related) who developed MRSA post surgery. The employee currently has a wound vac in place and is on antibiotic therapy for at least one more week. Our infectious disease clinic is following and the doctor covering the case feels this employee can come back to work after the antibiotic regimen is finished. He is willing to do nasal cultures to look for colonization and treat if needed to decolonize but feels this can be after the employee returns to work. The facility is reluctant to say the least to allow this employee to return to work with an open wound even though it is contained and she has been treated with antibiotics especially since she works in the operating room. We do have a policy for MRSA active draining skin lesions that states "employees must be restricted from contact with patients and patient materials or food handling until resolved." The infectious disease physician is willing to write a return to work although the wound is not healed. He feels there is little risk since the wound is contained and after the completion of antibiotics according to this physician the infection would be resolved. Please send your thoughts.
Cathy Senior RN BSN CDE
Employee Health Director
Penn Highlands DuBois
100 Hospital Avenue
P.O. Box 447
DuBois Pa 15801
cesenior at phhealthcare.org<mailto:cesenior at phhealthcare.org>
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