Assessing Risk Exposure of Healthcare Professionals to Biological Agents in a University General Hospital

Introduction: Health professionals are exposed to many potential workplace hazards, including, the exposure to infectious biological agents, mainly focused on hepatitis B virus (HBV) and C (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Aim: The present study aimed to investigate the data provided on the Accident Declaration Sheets (ADS) submitted by health care staff, after exposure to a biological agent, to the Infection Control Committee of a Greek University Hospital. Method: Α retrospective descriptive study was conducted, with a sample of 645 ADS submitted during a 5 year period (2007–2011), by the medical, nursing and other hospital staff, after exposure to biological agents. Data were accessed via Microsoft Excel 2007, Pearson Chi- square test, and Monte-Carlo simulation (p≤0.05). Results: The analysis of the 645 accidents reported, has shown that the average age of the exposed persons was 36.5 years and that 32.09% were males and 67.91% females. Workers aged between 31-40 years seemed to be statistically significantly most prone to accident incidents (41.4%, p=0,012). More than half of participants were in Nursing Service (51.47%), most accidents occurred in the Medical and Surgical sectors (40.3% and 40.2% respectively), and during the morning shift (78.1%, p=0.055). The needle stick injury (84.8%) was by far the most frequent incidence in the exposure report, while the main cause of accident was the carelessness of the person exposed (72.2%) in all areas of work (p<0.001), in all ages (p<0.001) and in all specialties (p<0.001). More than 80% of the participants had antibodies and were protected against HBV, in all specialties. Conclusions: The hospital’s policy concerning the staff’s vaccination coverage seemed to be effective against the HBV virus transmission. This policy should continue to be implied to all people who provide health care, from the beginning of their employment. Continuing personnel’s training concerning the protection from risks at work related to exposure to biological agents, the use of protective equipment (gloves, masks, aprons, goggles, safe boxes etc) and the appropriate organizational arrangements are proposed in the context of general preventative measures, that should be adopted.

Category: Volume 55, N 1
Hits: 487 Hits
Created Date: 15-03-2016
Authors: Ioannis Istikoglou , Parthenopi Pantelidou , Simeon Metallidis , Lemonia Skoura , Anastasia Xidea-Kikemeni