Managing sharps injuries and other occupational exposures to HIV, HBV, and HCV in the dermatology office

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Abstract

Dermatologists and their staff are at risk for needlestick injuries and exposures to body fluids. Despite the availability of treatment to reduce the risk of blood-borne infection, many exposures go unreported. This paper identifies current recommendations and the specific details for response to occupational exposures to HIV, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus in the dermatology office. Issues surrounding each virus are discussed individually, and a summary step-by-step algorithm of how to proceed in the event of an occupational exposure is presented. In addition, a focused Practice Improvement Activity that is based on this paper and provides Maintenance of Certification credit has been developed. To view and participate, visit https://secure.dataharborsolutions.com/abdermorg/.

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