Occupational exposure to blood and body fluids among health care workers in teaching hospitals in Tehran, Iran
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Background: Health care workers (HCWs) are vulnerable populations for infection with blood borne pathogens. This study was conducted to determine occupational exposure to blood and body fluids among HCWs in teaching hospitals in Tehran, Iran. Methods: A self- structures questionnaire was used to study 650 HCWs during 2006 -2007 in some teaching hospitals in Tehran, Iran. Results: occupational exposure to blood and body fluids to blood and body fluids of patients was noticed in 53.4%. Recapping was the most common cause of niddle stick injuries (26.5%) and 19.9% of HCWs with a history of needlestick or mucosal exposure had sought medical advice from a specialist, 79.4% of these visited a doctor in the first 24 hours after exposure. Twenty percent of people with a history of needlestick or mucosal exposure to human immune deficiency virus positive (HIV + ) patients received post-exposure prophylaxis and 46.7% tested themselves for seroconversion. 25.8% of HCWs with a history of needlestick or mucosal exposure with HBsAg + patients received hepatitis B immunoglobuline (HBIG), all of these had received it in the first 72 hours after exposure. History of vaccination, and reassurance about the effective serum antibody titer was the most frequent reason mentioned in case the individuals did not receive HBIG (56.5%). Conclusion: There is a need for further research to investigate why many HCWs do not take prophylactic and essential actions after needle stick or mucosal exposure to body fluids of infected patients. © Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal.