Healthcare workers' exposure to blood-borne pathogens in Lebanon

Abstract number: P1098

Musharrafieh U., Bizri A., Nassar N., Rahi A., Shoukair A., Doudakian R., Hamadeh G.

Objectives: Study the pattern of occupational exposure to blood and body fluids (BBFs) at a tertiary care hospital in Lebanon for 17 years. This is the first study to provide baseline data aiming to introduce the suitable interventions.

Methods: This study retrospectively reports a 17 year experience (1985–2001) of on-going surveillance of HCW exposure to BBFs at a 420 bed academic tertiary care hospital. Exposures were defined as any eye, mouth, or other mucous membrane, non-intact skin, or parenteral contact with blood, or other potentially infectious body fluid. The endpoints were the annual number, nature, and cause of accidents, as well as the HCW's status, injury tool, site, and source.

Results: 1590 BBF exposure-related accidents were reported to the Infection Control Office. The trend showed a decrease in these exposures over the years with an average ±SE of 96±8.6 incidents per year (figure). In the last 6 years, the average rate of BBF exposures was 0.57 per 100 admissions per year (average of needle stick injuries alone was 0.46 per 100 admissions). Needle sticks accounted for 75% of the injuries, sharp objects for 10%, splash and spill for 3%, and in 12% it was not clearly specified. The highest occurrence of these exposures was on the ward (35%) followed by the operating room (17%) and intensive care units (15%). The reason for the incident, when stated, was attributed to a procedural intervention (29%), improper disposal of sharps (18%), to recapping (11%), and to other causes (5%). The patient or source of incident was known in 64% of cases. For studying rates of exposure among the different occupational categories, the year 2001 was taken as an example. 13% of house officers, 9% of medical students, 8% of attending physicians, 5% of nurses, 4% of housekeeping, 4% of technicians, and 2% of auxiliary services employees had a BBF exposure during that year.

Figure 1. Incidence of blood and body fluids exposure over the years by type.

Conclusion: The current study showed that exposure of HCWs to BBPs remains a problem. This can be projected to other hospitals in the country and raises the need to implement infection control standards as part of a complete system where the culture of safety becomes an integral part of the organisation. Prospective studies are needed on a yearly basis to identify high risk groups and develop focused interventions.

Session Details

Date: 19/04/2008
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: 18th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Presentation type:
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