A survey of policies at children's hospitals regarding immunity of healthcare workers: Are physicians protected?

Natalie E. Lane, Ronald I. Paul, Denise F. Bratcher, Beth H. Stover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine policies at children's hospitals regarding immunizations, annual tuberculosis (TB) screening, and blood or body fluid exposure follow-up, particularly as they apply to physicians. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: A three-page survey was sent to infection control practitioners (ICPs) in April 1994 at hospitals affiliated with the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions. One follow-up mailing was sent to nonresponding ICPs. RESULTS: Responses were received from 62 (67%) of 93 ICPs. Thirty-five (66%) of 53 children's hospitals had an immunity policy that applied to medical students, 42 (79%) of 53 to resident physicians, 32 (52%) of 62 to hospital-based physicians, and 18 (29%) of 62 to private or community physicians (who admit patients to one hospital). Physicians were required to show evidence of an annual TB screen at 36 hospitals (58%). Immunity policies or TB screening were provided for the following physician groups: medical students, 13 (21%); resident physicians, 43 (69%); hospital-based physicians, 50 (81%); and private or community physicians, 23 (37%). Infection control practitioners reported that the following diseases had been identified within the past 5 years at their hospitals: measles, 82%; mumps, 40%; rubella, 31%; TB, 94%; hepatitis B, 94%; pertussis, 90%; varicella, 98%; and influenza, 94%. Physicians in these institutions were reported to have contracted the following diseases from patient exposure: measles, hepatitis B, TB, pertussis, varicella, and influenza. CONCLUSION: Children's hospitals vary widely in their policies regarding healthcare-worker immunity, and, in many cases, physicians may not be protected from nosocomial transmission of community infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-404
Number of pages5
JournalInfection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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