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Pol Arch Med Wewn. 1997 Nov;98(11):431-40.

[Prophylaxis after occupational exposure to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)].

[Article in Polish]

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Klinika Obserwacyjno-Zakaźna Akademii Medycznej w Białymstoku.


Reasons for seeking consultation among health care workers due to potential or supposed risk of HIV infection were analyzed. From August 1990 till July 1996 41 health care providers were consulted including: 22 nurses, 1 student of nursing college, 3 midwives, 4 laboratory workers and 7 physicians (surgeons and gynaecologist). Type of exposure to HIV and applying of safety precautions were evaluated in each case. In 10 cases the offer of postexposure prophylaxis with zidovudine was accepted (6 nurses, 1 student of nursing college, 3 surgeons). Exposure to HIV was described as: needlestick immediately after it was used in a HIV/AIDS patient, injury with a surgical needle while operating on an HIV infected blood. In the remaining cases the fear of HIV infection was due to work without protective gloves (nurses, laboratory workers), performing surgery on HIV (+) patient, (surgeons, nurses) or short-time contact of HIV infected blood with undamaged skin (nurses). Following conclusions can be drawn from our study: 1. Health care workers undertake safety precautions only when they are informed about HIV seropositivity of the patient. 2. Patients whose HIV serologic status is not known are considered not to create health risk for medical staff. 3. The level of knowledge of health care workers about risk of acquiring HIV infection, lack of risk and ways of diminishing the risk is poor. 4. None of followed health care workers was HIV-seropositive after occupational exposure to HIV.

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