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Knowledge and attitudes of hospital staff to occupational exposure to bloodborne viruses

Knowledge and attitudes of hospital staff to occupational exposure to bloodborne viruses

Communicable Disease and Public Health 3(4): 247-249

In order to assess awareness of occupational risk of exposure to bloodborne viruses a questionnaire was sent to 245 health care workers, representing a 10% sample of employees with patient contact in a large teaching hospital in Scotland, stratified by occupational group. One hundred and eight questionnaires (44%) were returned. Seventy per cent of respondents in laboratory and clinical areas described themselves as having sufficient knowledge for their own area of practice, but many gave incorrect answers or expressed uncertainty about the infectivity of HIV and hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses. Ninety-four respondents were unaware that a regimen containing more than one antiretroviral drug is now recommended for post exposure prophylaxis of HIV infection, 37 thought they had been at risk of bloodborne viral infection and had contacted the occupational health department for advice, and 68 respondents disagreed with guidelines from the United Kingdom's General Medical Council on testing of patients for bloodborne viruses. The results indicate a need for educational initiatives for new and existing staff.

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Accession: 046508073

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PMID: 11280251

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