Prevention in Health Care

Female clinitian

The delivery of health care has the potential to transmit hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) to both health care workers and patients. Outbreaks of HBV and HCV infection have occurred in outpatient settings, hemodialysis units, long-term-care facilities, and hospitals, primarily as a result of unsafe injection practices; reuse of needles, fingerstick devices, and syringes; and other lapses in infection control. To prevent transmission of bloodborne pathogens, health care workers should adhere to recommended standard precautions and fundamental infection-control principles, including safe injection practices and appropriate aseptic techniques.

For continued protection, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that health care and public safety workers with reasonably anticipated risk for exposures to blood or infectious body fluids receive the complete hepatitis B vaccine series and have their immunity documented through postvaccination testing.

Guidelines and Recommendations

Infection Control

Infection Control in Healthcare Personnel: Infrastructure and Routine Practices for Occupational Infection Prevention and Control Services

Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities
Recommendations of CDC and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC), MMWR 2003;52(RR-10)

Injection Safety

Occupational Health

National Clinicians Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Hotline (PEPline)external icon
Hotline providing clinicians with 24-hour guidance on managing occupational exposures to HIV, viral hepatitis, and other bloodborne pathogens at 1-888-448-4911

CDC Guidance for Evaluating Health-Care Personnel for Hepatitis B Virus Protection and for Administering Postexposure Management
MMWR 2013; 62(RR10);1-19

Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection and HCV-Related Chronic Disease
MMWR 1998;47(RR-19)

Bloodborne Infectious Diseases: HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus
Key resources from CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Occupational Safety and Health Standards: Bloodborne pathogens—Regulation 1910.1030external icon

Link external to CDC. See the legend on right-hand side. Also the 'Policies' link in page footer and subsequent 'Website Exit Notification/Disclaimer' link.

OSHA regulations pertaining to all occupational exposures to blood or other potentially infectious materials

Vaccination

Prevention of Hepatitis B Virus Infection in the United States: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
MMWR 2018;67(No. RR-1):1–31

Menu of State Healthcare Facility Hepatitis B Vaccination Laws