2021 May 10. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–.
Health care workers have serious concerns about exposure to bodily fluids. Accidental exposures to bodily fluids present a wide variety of issues to healthcare workers. These issues include transmission of communicable diseases such as human immune deficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV). These exposures have led to a significant public health hazard since they have become a known occupational hazard in 1978. Among healthcare workers, nursing staff/students seem to have the highest rate of exposures at 45%, and providers come next at 17%. Further dividing the provider group, surgeons were the most likely to be at risk of being exposed. Other research has shown that providers and nurses have a good knowledge of standard safety protocols regarding bodily fluid exposure; nurses have a better practice level than providers. Another confounding factor regarding these exposures is the fear of infection and/or loss of employment due to the exposure. Multiple studies have shown that some healthcare workers are confused about what to do in case of exposure. Despite almost all healthcare facilities in the world having some sort of protocol regarding exposure, some healthcare workers are unaware of them. Other research has shown that non-percutaneous exposures seem to de dismissed by employers according to their employees. Exposed workers can also suffer other injuries as well, including psychological effects. Recent research has been aimed at improving the recognition and proper evaluation of bodily fluid exposures.