Healthcare workers (HCW) are exposed to many different pathogens, and cases of occupational infection have been reported involving the vast majority of known and emerging agents. The risk is present during all the phases of patient care and manipulation of biologic materials, and the implementation of Standard Precautions - And biosafety level 2 measures in the laboratory - And Transmission-Based Precautions in all health settings represents the necessary preventive intervention required by law. Percutaneous exposures represent an extremely frequent event in healthcare facilities; among the many pathogens acquired through this type of exposure, those of highest concern due to the frequency of exposure are HIV, HBV and HCV. Over the last 10 years, though the risk of exposure is still not negligible, occupational infection with HBV has become a rare event; conversely, the incidence of acute C hepatitis became significantly higher among HCW (1,6 per 100.000 inhabitants) with respect to the general population (0,6), with a seroconversion rate following an occupational exposure between 0,5% and 1,8%; finally, reports of occupational HIV infection have decreased, probably also as a secondary beneficial effect of antiretroviral treatment in patients and post-exposure prophylaxis in HCW. The Studio Italiano Rischio Occupational da HIV (SIROH) documented from 1986 to 2009 one occupational HBV case, 6 HIV cases (the last one in 2007) and 32 HCV cases. In Europe, the Directive 2010/32/EU approved on May 10 2010 requires Member State to implement within three years a global strategy to prevent occupational exposures in the healthcare setting, particularly with respect to needlestick and sharp injuries, including the adoption, based on risk assessment, of devices incorporating safety features. In Italy the introduction of these devices, according to data collected by the SIROH, showed the possibility to decrease percutaneous exposures by 75%, an effect sustained over time if supported by information, education and training.
|Translated title of the contribution||Theme updates on the epidemiology of occupational bloodborne infectious diseases|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health