Compliance with follow-up after occupational exposure to hepatitis C

Sian Williams*, Valerie Libotte, Mary Ramsay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Accidental percutaneous exposure to blood containing hepatitis C virus (HCV) is reported by health care workers more frequently than exposure to human immunodeficiency and hepatitis B virus. The transmission rate following such an exposure is ∼1.9%. Little is known about the attendance rate of such staff for follow-up testing following exposure to HCV. Aim: To determine whether our follow-up programme for staff exposed to hepatitis C would allow the early detection and treatment of infected staff members. Method: We reviewed all staff exposures to hepatitis C reported to the occupational health department of a London teaching hospital over a 8-year period. Results: Of 105 exposures, 21% of staff attended for early (6 or 12 weeks) and late (26 weeks) post-exposure follow-up. Thirty-seven per cent attended early follow-up only and 1% attended late having not attended early follow-up. Forty per cent did not attend any follow-up appointments with us. Conclusion: With the availability of effective treatment for early HCV infection, it is vital that occupational health departments encourage staff to attend at least for early follow-up. Access to HCV-RNA testing at this early stage should allow detection and early treatment of the small proportion who seroconvert.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-598
Number of pages3
JournalOccupational Medicine
Volume57
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

Keywords

  • Compliance
  • Hepatitis C
  • Occupational exposure

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