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Occupational blood-borne pathogen exposures among community workers.
Huy JM; Ross CS; Boudreau AY; Weber AM
Clin Occup Environ Med 2002 Aug; 2:537-556
Exposures to blood and other body fluids occur across a wide variety of occupations and raise a myriad of complex medical, legal, and regulatory issues. Most research and prevention recommendations regarding such exposures have focused on healthcare workers, the occupational group at highest risk for exposure [1,2]. Workers in other at-risk occupations largely have been ignored. Whether in healthcare or community settings, occupational exposures to blood or body fluids have the potential for transmitting disease . There are no national surveillance systems in place to provide accurate incidence rates for occupational exposures to blood or body fluids outside of the healthcare setting. Workers in other occupations are at increased risk because of their use of sharp instruments, and their potential risk for encountering discarded sharp instruments or materials that are contaminated with blood or body fluids. The pathogens of primary concern, HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV), are discussed (Box I). The same principles of exposure management applied to healthcare workers should be applied to workers in community settings . This article aims to raise awareness among public health officials, medical care providers, workers, and employers about the risks associated with occupational exposure to blood and body fluids among workers in non-healthcare settings. In this article, these workers are referred to as "community workers." A partial listing of community occupations is given (Table I). A medical literature review and legal case review were conducted to discern available information related to this issue. This article discusses these reviews.
Occupational-exposure; Bloodborne-pathogens; Health-care-personnel; Disaster-prevention; Disease-transmission; Diseases; Body-fluids; Risk-factors
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA
Clinics in Occupational and Environmental Medicine
OH; GA; CO
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division