Healthcare providers face many risks during the provision of care, however the Hepatitis B virus continues to be a real concern. The CDC has published an updated guidance for healthcare providers including evaluating personnel for Hepatitis B virus protection and for administering post-exposure management.
Hepatitis B (HB) has long been recognized as an occupational risk for health-care personnel (HCP), including HCP trainees. The virus remains infectious for prolonged periods on environmental surfaces and is transmissible in the absence of visible blood. HCP do not recognize all exposures to potentially infectious blood or body fluids and even if exposures are recognized, often do not seek post-exposure prophylactic management for recognized exposures. In serologic studies conducted in the United States during the 1970s, HCP had a prevalence of HBV infection approximately 10 times greater than the general population. This report provides CDC guidance for persons working, training, or volunteering in health-care settings who have documented HepB vaccination years before hire or matriculation (e.g., when HepB vaccination was received as part of routine infant or catch-up adolescent vaccination.)
It is recommended that your Medical Director and Quality Assurance Committee review your current policies and procedures and update as necessary using the CDC’s guidance. The link below will allow you to access this information and as always, if you should have any questions feel free to contact your HealthCap risk manager! Thanks and happy new year!