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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 2010, Vol.83(1), pp.77-83
    Description: Byline: Sabine Wicker (1,2), Holger F. Rabenau (2) Keywords: Bloodborne viruses; Dental infection control; Needlestick injury; Occupational infections Abstract: Purpose Exposures to bloodborne pathogens pose a serious risk to dental healthcare workers (DHCW). Despite improved methods of preventing exposures like needlestick injuries (NSI), occupational exposures still continue to occur. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the incidence of occupational exposures to patient body fluids among German DHCW, to assess the rate of reporting of such incidents, and to evaluate the association of various factors with these exposures. Methods Data was obtained through an anonymous questionnaire. Results Our study confirms that occupational skills are an important factor concerning NSI. It turned out that dental students (0.74 NSI p. a.) had nearly twice the number of NSI compared with dentists with more or less than 10 years working experience (0.42, 0.49 NSI p. a., respectively, P 〈 0.0001). Overall, 54.3% (n = 144/265) of respondents had sustained at least one NSI in their professional life. Only 28.5% of injured dental students and DHCW reported all of their NSI, the main reason (19.1%) for not reporting NSI was little or no perception of risk on behalf of the respondent. One-fourth of respondents were not wearing a mask and 55.6% were not wearing protective goggles during their last occupational exposures. Conclusions Occupational exposure to blood or body fluids is a common problem among DHCW and dental students. Measures must be adopted by official institutions, public health service, occupational health association and universities in order to reverse this situation. Author Affiliation: (1) Occupational Health Service, Hospital of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University of Frankfurt, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2) Institute of Medical Virology, Hospital of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University of Frankfurt, Paul-Ehrlich-Str. 40, 60596, Frankfurt am Main, Germany Article History: Registration Date: 08/07/2009 Received Date: 21/11/2008 Accepted Date: 08/07/2009 Online Date: 22/07/2009
    Keywords: Bloodborne viruses ; Dental infection control ; Needlestick injury ; Occupational infections
    ISSN: 0340-0131
    E-ISSN: 1432-1246
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