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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 42-46

The incidence of occupational exposures among health care workers and students at Istanbul University Faculty of Dentistry

Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Istanbul University, Capa 34093, Istanbul, Turkey

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Background/objectives: The aim of this study is to determine the incidence of occupational exposures, the immunization status and the rate of injuries being reported among health care workers (HCWs) and students at the dental school. Methods: A questionnaire was applied to all academic staff, dental students and nurses. The questionnaire included the sections about frequency of sharp injuries, type of instrument that caused the injury, and whether or not the injury was reported. Data from the ques- tionnaires was analyzed using SPSS; 17.0 statistical software and assessed in each group. Results: The number of persons reporting one or more percutaneous injury was 415 (74.6%). 448 (80.5%) respondents reported saliva/blood splashes into skin and eyes. The majority of the respondents failed to report the exposure incidents. Common reasons for not reporting included lack of information about reporting and not to worry about the injury. The most common injuries were reported as needlesticks and dental probe injuries. 86% of re- spondents followed post-exposure protocol after the injury and 96% of them reported the regular usage of masks to prevent risk of infection. The immunization status of students, academic staff and nurses were 89.5%, 78.6% and 72%, respectively. Conclusion: The high incidence of occupational injuries among health care workers reveals a necessity to raise awareness and to provide periodical training in infection prevention.

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