Work safety among Polish health care workers in respect of exposure to bloodborne pathogens
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Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine / Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera, Łódź, Poland (Department of Occupational Diseases and Toxicology / Klinika Chorób Zawodowych i Toksykologii)
Medical University of Łódź / Uniwersytet Medyczny, Łódź, Poland (Department of Infectious Diseases and Hepatology / Klinika Chorób Zakaźnych i Hepatologii)
Marcin Rybacki   

Department of Occupational Diseases and Toxicology, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, 8 Sw. Teresy Street, 91-348 Łódź
Med Pr 2013;64(1):1–10
Objectives: Viral hepatitis is the second most often identified infectious illness acquired at work and it is mostly registered among health care personnel. This group of workers is at greater risk of exposure to blood and bloodborne pathogens, including hepatitis B and C viruses. The aims of this study were to evaluate the efficacy of methods promoting work safety in healthcare settings, to assess the frequency of exposures in the last 12 months prior to the study and to determine a rate of reporting them to appropriate authorities. Methods: A total of 1138 Polish healthcare workers were interviewed during the study period (between 2009 and 2010). Results: Sustaining accidental occupational percutaneous exposure during last 12 months was declared by 242 workers (21% of the whole group). Only in 146 cases these incidents were reported to authorities. Exposure incidents were associated with self-perception of high risk of exposure (OR = 3.69, p = 0.0027), employment in out-patient (vs. hospital-based) healthcare setting (OR = 1.71, p = 0.0089), conviction that the level of information about bloodborne infections conveyed at work was insufficient, lack of both exposure reporting system and knowledge about the ways of reporting. Conclusions: Despite the different established proposals of the post-exposure procedures, it turns out that particularly in small, not providing 24 hours service healthcare settings these procedures are not known or are not respected. More attention should be given to education, especially in regard to the risk of infection, advantages of post-exposure prophylaxis and reporting exposure incidents. Med Pr 2013;64(1):1–10