Exposures to blood and body fluids in Brazilian primary health care


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Abstract

BackgroundPrimary health care workers (HCWs) represent a growing occupational group worldwide. They are at risk of infection with blood-borne pathogens because of occupational exposures to blood and body fluids (BBF).AimTo investigate BBF exposure and its associated factors among primary HCWs.MethodsCross-sectional study among workers from municipal primary health care centres in Florianópolis, Southern Brazil. Workers who belonged to occupational categories that involved BBF exposures during the preceding 12 months were interviewed and included in the data analysis.ResultsA total of 1077 workers participated. The mean incidence rate of occupational BBF exposures was 11.9 per 100 full-time equivalent worker-years (95% confidence interval: 8.4–15.3). The cumulative prevalence was 7% during the 12 months preceding the interview. University-level education, employment as a nurse assistant, dental assistant or dentist, higher workload score, inadequate working conditions, having sustained a previous occupational accident and current smoking were associated with BBF exposures (P ≤ 0.05).ConclusionsPrimary Health Care Centres are working environments in which workers are at risk of BBF exposures. Exposure surveillance systems should be created to monitor their occurrence and to guide the implementation of preventive strategies.

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