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Open AccessArticle

Professional biological risk factors of health care workers

Hospital of Kaunas University of Medicine, Lithuania
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Medicina 2009, 45(7), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina45070070
Received: 19 July 2007 / Accepted: 7 July 2009 / Published: 12 July 2009
Health care workers are attributed to the group at highest risk of biological factors, as they are daily exposed to fluids of the human body. The risk of sharps injuries and exposure to blood is associated with bloodborne infections.
The aim of this study
was to determine the frequency and type of professional biological risk factors, to evaluate the use of personal protective devices, application of immunoprophylaxis to health care workers in the surgical departments.
Methods
. A retrospective study was carried out from January to June 2006. Data were collected in the surgical departments of Hospital of Kaunas University of Medicine. An anonymous questionnaire survey was performed.
Results
. More than half (51.4%) of the respondents experienced sharps injuries, 62.1% were exposed to biological fluids, and 39.6% of the workers experienced both injury and exposure. In all cases, the hands were injured during sharps injuries. Exposure of healthy skin and eyes to biological fluids occurred in 63% and 20% of the cases, respectively. Majority of exposures were blood splashes (60%). Physicians most frequently experienced sharps injury during the surgery (79.3%), nurses – during the preparation of instruments (35.1%), supporting staff – disposing the waste (75.8%). Commonly physicians were injured by surgical needles (72.4%), nurses – by needlestick (72.4%), and supporting staff – by glass waste (60.6%). Majority of the respondents (86%) were not vaccinated with HB vaccine. No personal protective equipment was used by 14.5% of the respondents during sharps injuries and 5% during exposures.
Conclusions
. More than half of the respondents experienced sharps injury or exposure to biological fluids during the study period. Physicians and nurses experience sharps injury and exposure to biological fluids more commonly as compared to supporting staff. Hepatitis B vaccination is insufficient among health care workers.
Keywords: health care worker; sharps injury; exposure; biological fluids health care worker; sharps injury; exposure; biological fluids
MDPI and ACS Style

Gailienė, G.; Cenenkienė, R. Professional biological risk factors of health care workers. Medicina 2009, 45, 530.

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