Annals of Occupational Hygiene, 2008, 2008, Vol. 52(7), pp.615-622
Objectives: Our paper measures the prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in patients at the University Hospital of Frankfurt/Main, and correlates the prevalence with risk factors for exposure to and infection of healthcare workers (HCWs). Individual risk assessments were calculated for exposed HCWs. Methods: Survey of patients admitted to a German University Hospital. Markers for HBV, HCV and HIV were studied and evaluated statistically. Data on needlestick injuries (NSIs) among HCWs were correlated with the prevalence of infectious patients. Results: The HBV, HCV and HIV prevalence among patients at the University Hospital were 5.3% ( n = 709/13 358), 5.8% ( n = 1167/20 163) and 4.1% ( n = 552/13 381), respectively. Our results indicate that the prevalence of blood-borne infections in patients was about nine times higher for HBV, ∼15 times higher for HCV and ∼82 times higher for HIV than in the overall German population. The highest risk of acquiring a blood-borne infection via NSI was found in the department of internal medicine due to increased prevalence of blood-borne pathogens in patients under treatment. Conclusions: While accidental NSIs were most frequent in surgery, the nominal risk of blood-borne virus infection was greatest in the field of internal medicine. The study underlines the importance of HBV vaccinations and access to HIV-post-exposure prophylaxis for HCWs as well as the use of anti-needlestick devices.
Blood - Borne Viruses ; Healthcare Workers ; Occupational Infections