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Rev Chilena Infectol. 2010 Feb;27(1):34-9. doi: /S0716-10182010000100005. Epub 2010 Feb 3.

[Biological risk accidents among undergraduate healthcare students: five years experience].

[Article in Spanish]

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Comité de Infecciones Intrahospitalarias, Hospital Clínico Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

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  • Rev Chilena Infectol. 2010 Apr;27(2):178.


Undergraduate healthcare students are exposed to bloodborne pathogens, and data from developing countries is scarce. We report the experience of a comprehensive program dedicated to the management of this risk. The program includes financial coverage, a 24-hour attention system, HIV, HBV, HCV testing, and free provision of post-exposure antiretroviral drugs. During 2003-2007, incidence rates of these exposures reached 0.9 per 100 student-years. Events were only observed among medicine, nursing, and midwifery students, with rates highest among nursing students (RR 3.5 IC95 1.93 - 6.51). Cuts and needle stick injuries predominated (74.7% of accidents). Three students were exposed to HIV patients (1.9%), all of them received prophylactic drugs, infection was discarded after follow up, and also discarded after exposures to HBV or HCV (0.6% of all accidents). Cost per 1000 student-year was less than 2000 USD. Healthcare students are exposed to biological risks during their studies and a comprehensive program is feasible in a developing country.

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