Sharps Injury & Blood Borne Virus Transmission
Health Care Workers (HCW) may acquire bloodborne pathogens, such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) or Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) via certain types of exposure like percutaneous injuries and mucosal exposures, from their workplace. All these infections have the potential for serious adverse outcomes like hepatocellular carcinoma, severe immunodeficiency, and even death. Patients with HBV, HCV or HIV infection may be asymptomatic, or with unknown status. As handling of blood and body fluids or contaminated sharps are common in health care settings, sufficient preventive measures must be in place to reduce the risk of occupational exposure and subsequent infection.