TITLE

RISK OF HEPATITIS C VIRUS (HCV) TRANSMISSION FROM PATIENTS TO SURGEONS: MODEL BASED ON AN UNLINKED ANONYMOUS STUDY OF HCV PREVALENCE IN HOSPITAL PATIENTS IN GLASGOW

AUTHOR(S)
Thorburn, D.; Roy, K.; Cameron, S.O.; Johnston, J.; McCruden, E.A.B.; Mills, P.R.; Goldberg, D.J.
PUB. DATE
April 2003
SOURCE
Gut;Apr2003 Supplement 1, Vol. 52, pA106
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: The risk of a surgeon acquiring HCV through occupational exposure is dependant on HCV prevalence in the patient population, the probability of a percutaneous injury transmitting HCV and the incidence of percutaneous injury. No HCV prevalence data is available in the UK For patients undergoing surgery. Aims: To estimate the prevalence of HCV infection in the surgical patient population in Glasgow; and to quantify the risk of surgeons acquiring HCV through occupational exposure. Methods: An anonymous retrospective study of HCV prevalence was performed on 2702 stored sera from surgical patients in two Glasgow hospitals from 1996 to 1997. The risk of a surgeon acquiring HCV through occupational exposure was estimated from this prevalence data, and published estimates of the incidence of percutaneous injury during surgery and percutaneous injury transmitting HCV. Results: The estimated prevalence of HCV infection in adult patients from all specialty groupings was 1.4% (0.8% cardiothoracic, 1.4% orthopaedic, and 2.0% general surgery/ENT patients). The estimated probability of HCV transmission From an HCV infected patient to an uninfected surgeon was 0.002% to 0.032% per annum (0.07% to 1.12% risk over a 35 year professional career). Based on these estimates, one of the 8400 surgeons in the UK would be expected to acquire HCV through occupational exposure every 4 to 71 months. Conclusions: The risk of an individual surgeon becoming infected with HCV through occupational exposure is therefore Iow, even over a 35 year surgical career in an area with a high prevalence of intravenous drug use. However, on a population basis surgeons will become infected fairly frequently. Surgeons should be encouraged to observe universal precautions and present for assessment after needlestick injuries to protect themselves and their patients From this indolent infection.
ACCESSION #
9748013

 

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