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Epidemiological determinants of occupational exposure to HIV, HBV and HCV in health care workers

Author(s): Hadadi A | Afhami SH | Kharbakhsh M | Hajabdoulbaghi M | Rasoolinejad M | Emadi H | Esmaeelpour N | Sadeghi A | Ghorashi L

Journal: Tehran University Medical Journal
ISSN 1683-1764

Volume: 65;
Issue: 9;
Start page: 59;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: health care workers

Background: Health care workers (HCWs) are at substantial risk of acquiring bloodborne pathogen infections through contact with blood and other potentially infectious materials. The main objectives of this study were to determine the epidemiological characteristics of occupational exposure to blood/body fluids, related risk factors of such exposure, and hepatitis B vaccination status among HCWs."nMethods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from December 2004 to June 2005 at three university hospitals in Tehran, Iran. Using a structured interview, we questioned HCWs who had the potential for high-risk exposure during the year preceding the study."nResults: With a total number of 467 exposures (52.9%) and an annual rate of 0.5 exposures per HCW, 391 (43%) of the 900 HCWs had at least one occupational exposure to blood and other infected fluids during the previous year. The highest rate of occupational exposure was found among nurses (26%) and the housekeeping staff (20%). These exposures most commonly occurred in the medical and emergency wards (23% and 21%, respectively). The rate of exposure in HCWs with less than five years of experience was 54%. Percutaneous injury was reported in 280 participants (59%). The history of hepatitis B vaccination was positive in 85.93% of the exposed HCWs. Sixty-one percent had used gloves at the time of exposure. Hand washing was reported in 91.4% and consultation with an infectious disease specialist in 29.4%. There were 72 exposures to HIV, HBV and HCV; exposure to HBV was the most common. In 237 of the enrolled cases, the source was unknown. Job type, years of experience and hospital ward were the risk factors for exposure."nConclusion: Education, protective barriers and vaccination are important in the prevention of viral transmission among HCWs.
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