Occupational blood exposure accidents in the Netherlands.
until further notice
SourceEuropean Journal of Public Health, 20, 3, (2010), pp. 281-287
1 juni 2010
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
European Journal of Public Health
SubjectNCEBP 7: Effective primary care and public health
BACKGROUND: To make proper evaluation of prevention policies possible, data on the incidence and associated medical costs of occupational blood exposure accidents in the Netherlands are needed. METHODS: Descriptive analysis of blood exposure accidents and risk estimates for occupational groups. Costs of handling accidents were calculated. RESULTS: Each year, an estimated 13,000-15,000 blood exposure accidents are reported in the Netherlands, 95% in occupational settings. Hepatitis B (HBV) vaccination is offered free of charge only to people in risk groups, the seroprevalence of HBV, hepatitis C (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is low and few infections are related to blood exposure accidents. High-risk accidents occur mainly in hospitals. In nursing homes and home care settings, the majority of the accidents are low-risk. Limited data are available about occurrence of accidents in other occupational groups. Associated medical costs from occupational blood exposure accidents are mainly determined by the initial risk management. CONCLUSIONS: Accidents must be managed effectively to prevent infection and reduce anxiety in injured employees. While strategies to reduce HCV and HIV infection should be primarily aimed at reducing the occurrence of high-risk accidents, vaccination can prevent HBV infection and cut the costs of handling low-risk accidents. The implementation of vaccination strategies, safe working policies and the proper use of safe equipment should be monitored better.
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