To determine the population at risk, risk factors, and outcome of occupational exposure to blood and body fluids in health care providers.
Materials and Methods:
Retrospective review of two and half year data of ongoing surveillance of occupational exposure to blood and body fluids in a tertiary care hospital.
103 Health Care Providers (HCP) reported an occupational exposure to blood and body fluids during the period under review. These comprised 72 (69.9%) doctors, 20 (19.4%) nursing personnel, and 11 (10.6%) cleaning staff. Of the doctors, 65% were interns. 53.4% HCP had work experience of less than one year. Circumstances of exposure included clinical procedures (48%), sweeping/handling used sharps (29%), recapping (16%), and surgery (6.9%). 74.3% of the exposures were due to non-compliance with universal precautions and were thus preventable. The device most frequently implicated in causing injury was hollow bore needle (n=85, 82.5%). Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) status of the source was positive in 6.8% cases, negative in 53.4% cases, and unknown in remaining 39.8% cases. Postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) was indicated in 100 (97.08%) cases and was initiated within 2 h of exposure in 26.8% HCP. In 23.2% HCP, PEP initiation was delayed beyond 72 h of exposure due to late reporting. Thirteen HCP received expanded and the remaining received basic regime. Of the 82 HCP followed up, 15 completed the full course, while 55 stopped PEP after the first dose due to negative source status. Twelve HCP with exposure to blood of unknown HIV status discontinued PEP despite counseling. Complete follow-up for seroconversion was very poor among the HCP. HIV status at 6 month of exposure is not known for any HCP.
Failure to follow universal precautions including improper disposal of waste was responsible for majority of occupational exposures. HCP need to be sensitized regarding hospital waste management, management of occupational exposure, need for PEP, and continued follow-up.