alexa Hepatitis B virus infection in hospital personnel.
Psychiatry

Psychiatry

Clinical Depression

Author(s): Elavia AJ, Banker DD

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Abstract BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers are known to be prone to infection with the hepatitis B virus. We did this study, as there are only a few reports from India on the prevalence of this infection among hospital personnel, so that a rational and effective immunization policy could be evolved. METHOD: Eight hundred and sixty-three hospital employees including doctors, nurses, technicians, office workers, orderlies and other ancillary staff were screened by ELISA for both hepatitis B surface antigen and its antibody as indicators of prior infection. RESULTS: Eighty-six (10\%) were found to be seropositive for hepatitis B surface antigen alone while in 138 (16\%) only the antibody was detected. We did not come across any subject in whom both the antigen and the antibody were present simultaneously. Seropositivity was associated with a history of contact with blood or blood products, accidental parenteral exposure and direct patient contact. A history of close contact with a known patient with hepatitis and a past history of jaundice showed a weaker association, while a history of surgery or dental treatment was not significantly associated with seropositivity. There was a significantly (p < 0.5) higher seropositivity in males than in females. The seropositivity was also related to the employee's socio-economic status. Working in a dialysis unit carried the greatest risk. CONCLUSION: Energetic steps should be taken in all hospitals for the prevention of hepatitis B virus infection among healthcare workers.
This article was published in Natl Med J India and referenced in Clinical Depression

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