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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2007 Apr;89(3):276-80.

Perceptions of orthopaedic surgeons regarding hepatitis C viral transmission: a questionnaire survey.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, Royal Bolton Hospital, Bolton, UK. GCWallis@doctors.org.uk

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Occupationally acquired hepatitis C viral infection is an important issue in surgery since there are no known vaccines or effective prophylaxis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

An anonymous questionnaire survey was performed to determine the attitudes and perception of risks of occupational acquired hepatitis C viral transmission in orthopaedic surgeons.

RESULTS:

A total of 763 questionnaires were posted to orthopaedic surgeons with various subspecialty interests and 261 surgeons responded (34.2%). Of respondents, 117 (47%) had sustained sharps injuries in the previous 12 months. Only 82 surgeons (33%) always reported such injuries, although 208 (84%) expressed concerns of occupationally acquired hepatitis C viral transmission. Orthopaedic surgeons were mostly unaware of the true prevalence of hepatitis C in high-risk groups, such as intravenous drug abusers.

CONCLUSIONS:

Greater awareness of all aspects of hepatitis C infection and its risks to the practice of surgery is required. Further debate is necessary on the role of routine testing of surgeons and patients.

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