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Hadadi A, Afhami S, Karbakhsh M, Esmailpour N
Correspondence: Dr Azar Hadadi, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at substantial risk of acquiring blood-borne infections through contact with body fluids of patients. The main objectives of this study were to determine the epidemiological characteristics and risk factors of the occupational exposures to body fluids.
Methods This cross-sectional study was conducted from December 2004 to June 2005 among HCWs from three University hospitals in Tehran, Iran, who had the potential for high risk exposures during the year preceding the study.
Results Of 900 HCWs studied, 391 (43.4 percent) had at least one occupational exposure to blood and other infected fluids. Overall, 476 exposures had occurred (0.53 exposures per person-year). The highest exposure rate (per person-year) was observed among housekeeping staff nurses (0.78) and nurses (0.63), and occurred most commonly in the medical wards (23.0 percent). HCWs with a working experience of more than ten years had an odds of exposure of 0.5 times compared to those with less than five years' job experience. Percutaneous injury was reported in 280 participants. The history of hepatitis B (HBV) vaccination was positive in 85.9 percent of the exposed HCWs. Hand-washing and consultation with an infectious disease specialist was reported in 91.0 and 29.0 percent of the cases, respectively. There were 72 exposures to human immunodefiency virus, HBV and hepatitis C, with exposure to HBV being the most common. In 237 of the exposure occasions, the viral status of the source was unknown.
Conclusion Type of job, years of experience and specific hospital wards were the risk factors for exposure.
Keywords: body fluids exposure, health personnel, needlestick injury, occupational exposures, occupational hazards
Singapore Med J 2008; 49(6): 492-496