Risk of exposure to bloodborne infection for Italian healthcare workers, by job category and work area

Vincenzo Puro, Gabriella De Carli, Nicola Petrosillo, Giuseppe Ippolito, G. Finzi, L. Gherardi, P. Cugini, I. Ferraresi, S. Zenoni, C. Sileo, R. Iuliucci, G. Andreoletti, L. Pischedda, A. Lodi, G. Nurra, A. Rosati, M. Daglio, D. Vlacos, M. Lanave, R. CarzeddaC. Amoddeo, M. R. Cocco, D. Rosi, G. Pitzalis, L. Di Bernardo, M. Bombonato, B. Testini, D. Turrolla, I. Egger, R. Bertucci, M. De Fazio, D. Zangrando, I. Berchialla, S. Maccarrone, C. Paradiso, T. Agosta, G. Raineri, S. Pelissero, A. Vivalda, M. Desperati, M. Bergaglia, P. Contegiacomo, E. Aspiro, B. Burrai, C. Penna, M. Fulgheri, M. Nelli, M. Rebora, L. Garra, G. Fasulo, M. C. Pirazzini, M. Tangenti, C. Libralato, C. Govoni, B. Bonfiglioli, A. Macchioni, G. Gualandi, M. E. Bonaventura, V. Di Nardo, A. Segata, G. Raponi, A. R. Boscolo, C. Tonelli, P. Marchegiano, D. Tovoli, R. Bonini, V. Mercurio, F. Soscia, R. Martiniello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To analyze the rate of occupational exposure to blood and body fluids from all sources and specifically from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected sources among hospital workers, by job category and work area. DESIGN: Multicenter prospective study. Occupational exposure data (numerator) and full-time equivalents ([FTEs] denominator) were collected over a 5-year period (1994-1998) and analyzed. SETTING: 18 Italian urban acute-care hospitals with infectious disease units. RESULTS: A total of 10,988 percutaneous and 3,361 mucocutaneous exposures were reported. The highest rate of percutaneous exposure per 100 FTEs was observed among general surgery (11%) and general medicine (10.6%) nurses, the lowest among infectious diseases (1.1%) and laboratory (1%) physicians. The highest rates of mucocutaneous exposure were observed among midwives (5.3%) and dialysis nurses (4.7%), the lowest among pathologists (0%). Inadequate sharps disposal and the prevalence of sharps in the working unit influence the risk to housekeepers. The highest combined HIV exposure rates were observed among nurses (7.8%) and physicians (1.9%) working in infectious disease units. The highest rates of high-risk percutaneous exposures per 100 FTE were again observed in nurses regardless of work area, but this risk was higher in medical areas than in surgery (odds ratio, 2.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.9-2.5; P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-210
Number of pages5
JournalInfection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Immunology


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