Background: The global burden of hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection due to percutaneous injuries among health care workers (HCWs) is estimated.
Methods: The incidence of infections attributable to percutaneous injuries in 14 geographical regions on the basis of the probability of injury, the prevalence of infection, the susceptibility of the worker, and the percutaneous transmission potential are modeled. The model also provides the attributable fractions of infection in HCWs.
Results: Overall, 16,000 HCV, 66,000 HBV, and 1,000 HIV infections may have occurred in the year 2000 worldwide among HCWs due to their occupational exposure to percutaneous injuries. The fraction of infections with HCV, HBV, and HIV in HCWs attributable to occupational exposure to percutaneous injuries fraction reaches 39%, 37%, and 4.4% respectively.
Conclusions: Occupational exposures to percutaneous injuries are substantial source of infections with bloodborne pathogens among health-care workers (HCWs). These infections are highly preventable and should be eliminated.
2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.