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Am J Infect Control. 2008 Dec;36(10):e27-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2008.05.012.

Risk of infection in health care workers following occupational exposure to a noninfectious or unknown source.

Author information

  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Dokuz Eylul, Izmir, Turkey. ziya.kuruuzum@deu.edu.tr

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The major concern after occupational exposures is the possible transmission of blood-borne pathogens, especially hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This study was undertaken to evaluate the risk of infection after exposure to blood or body fluids of an unknown or an HBV-, HCV-, and HIV-negative source and to determine the epidemiologic characteristics of these incidents in health care workers.

METHODS:

The survey was conducted over a 6-year period at a university hospital in Turkey, using a questionnaire to elicit demographic and epidemiologic information. Serologic tests for HBV, HCV, and HIV were performed and repeated after 3 months.

RESULTS:

Of the 449 incidents, complete follow-up was achieved in 320 (71.3%), and no seroconversion was observed for HBV, HCV and HIV. Most of the incidents occurred in medical (34.7%) and surgical (25.4%) work areas. The most frequent type of exposure was percutaneous injury (94%), most commonly caused by handling of garbage bags (58.4%), needle recapping (16.5%), and invasive interventions (13.4%).

CONCLUSION:

Infection risk seems to be extremely low for HCV and HIV, because of low endemicity, and for HBV in groups immunized against HBV.

PMID:
19084160
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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