Because forensic medicine workers have a greater occupational risk for infectious diseases, strict rules and measures against infections must be implemented at every stage of forensic medicine practices. In this study, we aim to evaluate the infection control implementations in forensic medicine practices in Turkey.
A questionnaire survey was mailed to forensic medicine specialists and residents between April and June 2005. The questionnaire consisted of 36 questions whose designed was based on standard precautions and protective barriers against infectious risks.
In all, 111 doctors from 27 different cities responded to the questionnaire. Of those doctors who responded, 43.2% reported performing external examination anywhere. The percentage of doctors performing external examinations who regularly wore gloves, masks, and gowns, and washed hands with a disinfectant were 81.5%, 24.7%, 30.9%, and 81.5%, respectively. The percentage of doctors performing autopsies who regularly wore masks, protective eye-wear, gloves, special gloves, and special boots were 59.6%, 10.6%, 98.9%, 71.3%, and 36.2%, respectively. Only 2 negative pressure rooms were reported.
According to these results, precautionary measures against infectious risks in forensic medicine practice in our country are insufficient. Conditions to facilitate and to improve the compliance with infection control procedures must be prepared.