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Singhal V, Bora DJ and Singh S
Scientific Tracks Abstracts: J Antivir Antiretrovir
Healthcare Workers have a high risk of occupational exposure to many blood-borne diseases including HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C viral infections and therefore Universal Precautions are very crucial for prevention of these infections. This study was conducted to assess awareness of healthcare workers of AIIMS regarding vaccination against Hepatitis B infection and their understanding of Universal Precautions. Their anti-HBs antibody titer was also measured. After ethical clearance and written consent, 446 healthcare workers who were categorized in 7 groups according to their work nature, were explained about the study and asked to fill a questionnaire regarding their vaccination status and practice of Universal Precautions. About 56.5% HCWs were vaccinated and 79% of them had protective levels (>10 IU/mL) of anti HBs antibody titers. However, protective levels were also detected in 19.35% of unvaccinated HCWs as natural immunity. 31.4% HCWs had history of Needle prick injury and only about half of them (47.5%) reported it. Regarding Universal precautions, 84.5% HCWs use gloves regularly, 10.7% use sometimes while only 4.7% HCWs have never used gloves. 38.9% of staff washed hands with disinfectant whereas rest with soap. 76.5% HCWs had knowledge of waste disposal and needle destruction while 67.6% had knowledge of proper management of blood spill. Hence there is need to educate our healthcare workers the importance of HBV vaccination and practicing Universal Precautions. In addition we need well planned and clear policies for healthcare workers about HBV screening, vaccination and serological response checkups including post-exposure management of needle prick cases.
Dr. Varsha Singhal has completed her MD in Laboratory Medicine from All India Institute of Medical Sciences and presently she is pursuing Senior Residency in Division of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine, AIIMS, New Delhi.