Amy J. Behrman, MD; David A. Allan, MD, PhD
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Behrman AJ, Allan DA. Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens. Ann Intern Med. 2004;140:492. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-140-6-200403160-00031
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2004;140(6):492.
TO THE EDITOR:
Dr. Seibert's painful story of occupational HIV exposure (1) should resonate with all clinicians. In our program, which serves 2 teaching hospitals, we have evaluated more than 5000 employees with body fluid exposures since 1988, using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines (2). Specific measures we have found useful to minimize health care worker anxiety and facilitate postexposure prophylaxis include 1) orienting hospital staff to report body fluid exposures immediately to the occupational medicine clinic or the emergency department, 2) implementing triage protocols to minimize waiting times, 3) providing 24-hour consult coverage of occupational medicine by experienced physicians, 4) offering confidential HIV testing for health care workers through the occupational medicine clinic, 5) providing “starter packs” of antiretroviral agents to minimize treatment delays, 6) using individualized follow-up to rapidly provide health care workers with laboratory results on their source patients and themselves, 7) monitoring health care workers for side effects during and after postexposure prophylaxis, and 8) facilitating confidential follow-up testing for HIV and hepatitis virus infection if indicated.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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