Occupational Exposure to Blood and Body Fluids amongst Health Care Workers in a Teaching Hospital of the Armed Forces.
Health care workers (HCWs) are at risk of infection with blood-borne viruses in the course of their work. Over 90% of these infections are occurring in low-income countries and most are preventable. However, the situation in the Armed Forces hospitals has always been thought to be much better than the public health facilities in India. The focus of the study was on assessing the exposure frequency amongst HCWs in a teaching hospital in the Armed Forces.
A cross-sectional survey amongst HCWs involved in collecting blood samples and administering injections in all wards of the hospital was conducted. Selection of study participants was by simple random sampling. A pre-tested questionnaire was administered by unlinked, anonymous method.
Total sample studied was 70. The proportion of HCWs experiencing exposure to blood body fluid splash (BBF) and needlestick injury (NSI) during last one week was 47.1 % and 31.43 %, respectively. The incidence density of BBF exposure was 537.14 per 100 person years and that of NSI episodes was 228.57 per 100 person years. The reasons for not using personal protective equipment (PPE) ranged from busy schedule (37.14%), non use of PPE by co-workers (67.14%), emergencies (91.43%) risk that patients may get offended by PPE use by HCWs (27.14%) to discomfort while using PPE (24.29%). All components of PPE were available as per only 34.29 percent.
The high level of occupational exposure to blood and body fluids and consequent risk of infection amongst a group of HCWs in the Armed Forces highlights the urgent need for interventions to enhance the occupational safety of workers.
Sangwan, BR; Kotwal, A; Verma, AK
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