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Title: Occupational risks and hepatitis B vaccination status of dental auxiliaries in Nigeria
Authors: AZODO, C. C.
OJO, M. A.
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Med Princ Pract
Series/Report no.: 19;5
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To assess the occupational exposure to needlestick and sharps injuries and hepatitis B vaccination status among dental auxiliaries. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A descriptive cross-sectional survey of 83 dental auxiliaries was conducted that included 12 technologists, 11 therapists, 53 nurses/surgical assistants, and 7 record officers. The survey included demography, history of needlestick and sharps injury, hepatitis B vaccination, knowledge and attitude towards HIV-infected patients, and the dental auxiliaries' information needs on HIV-related issues. RESULTS: Of the 83 dental auxiliaries, 34 (41%) had experienced needlestick and sharps injury in the last 12 months. At the time of the study, only 43 (51.8%) had been immunized against hepatitis B. 62 (74.7%) of the respondents thought that it was easier to contract HIV than hepatitis B through needlestick in a dental clinic. 21 (25.3%) would not assist dentists treating HIV-positive patients. However, 76 (91.6%), a majority, agreed that they needed more information on HIV-related issues, with 59 (71.1%) specifying a single area of need and 17 (20.5%) more than one area of need. The single areas of need specified in descending order were infection control (n = 22, 26.5%), HIV counseling (n = 12, 14.5%), oral manifestations of HIV/AIDS (n = 11, 13.3%), postexposure prophylaxis (n = 9, 10.8%), and antiretroviral therapy (n = 5, 6.0%). CONCLUSION: The data from this survey underscore the urgent need for educational interventions to encourage safe work practices. Hepatitis B vaccination, HIV-related knowledge and proper postexposure prophylaxis are needed to prevent occupational transmission of blood-borne viruses.
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