[Occupational exposure to HIV in health care workers, Silesia voivodeship].Med Pr. 2010; 61(3):315-22.MP
Occupational exposure to HIV is defined as a contact of health care workers with potentially infectious material. The risk of occupational transmission is not high (0.09-0.3%), but it increases in case of percutaneous injuries caused by tools contaminated with infected blood, deep needle stick or direct contact of an infected needle with artery or vein.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
The aim of the study was to determine the epidemiology of HIV infections among health care workers in the Silesian voivodeship, in the years 1999-2006 and the conditions of occupational exposure. Data on occupational exposure, collected by the Center for AIDS Diagnosis and Therapy in Chorzów, were analyzed.
During the study period, 789 cases of occupational exposure to HIV in the medical staff were documented. In the exposed group women predominated (78.9%). In the occupational group under study, nurses made 65% and physicians 17.5%. Needles were the most frequent (75.2%) source of exposure during injections and left hand fingers (thumb and index finger) were the major targets. Post-exposure prophylaxis with antiretroviral medications was introduced in about 60% of cases (499/789). No HIV transmission was registered.
Nurses run the highest risk of occupational exposure to HIV, usually related with injections. There is a need to continue education in postexposure prophylaxis addressed to medical staff. The development of a standard questionnaire and its practical use could be very useful in monitoring occupational exposure.