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Braz J Infect Dis. 2005 Dec;9(6):454-8. Epub 2006 Jan 9.

Adherence to an occupational blood borne pathogens exposure management program among healthcare workers and other groups at risk in Argentina.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, CEMIC, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


We conducted a retrospective review of 130 occupational blood borne pathogens exposure (BBP-OE) records at Centro de Estudios Médicos e Investigaciones Clínicas, a university hospital with an ongoing educational program and a postexposure management program for healthcare workers (HCWs) since 1995, in order to evaluate adherence to a hospital BBP-OE management program. We compared HCWs from our institution (Group 1) and HCWs from independent institutions that contract our postexposure management program (Group 2). Compliance with standard precautions in Group 1 was inadequate in 77%, 23%, and 16% of nurses, physicians, and others, respectively. A greater proportion of HCWs in Group 1 (74% vs. 40%) reported occupational accidents within two hours after exposure (p = 0.0001). No difference was observed regarding compliance with adherence to schedule, partial adherence, and loss at follow-up (14%, 33%, and 53%; p > 0.05). Adherence to the standard of care for BBP-OE, including postexposure prophylaxis, was low (HIV: 53% and HBV: 63%). Knowledge of the seropositive status of the source patient did not improve adherence. We conclude that postexposure programs do not guarantee appropriate behavior by HCWs. General interventions and ongoing personnel education to modify individual attitudes are needed, as are continued efforts to assess HCWs' experiences with these programs, as well as the identification of strategies to improve adherence.

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