Dental and Medical Problems

Dent Med Probl
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CiteScore (2021) – 2.0
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ISSN 1644-387X (print)
ISSN 2300-9020 (online)
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Dental and Medical Problems

2017, vol. 54, nr 2, April-June, p. 195–200

doi: 10.17219/dmp/70609

Publication type: review article

Language: English

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Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 Open Access

What to do after needlestick injury?

Jakie jest postępowanie po zakłuciu igłą?

Katarzyna Wąsacz1,A,B,C,D,F, Wioletta U. Bereziewicz2,A,B,C,D,F, Jolanta Pytko-Polończyk2,C,E,F, Maria Chomyszyn-Gajewska1,C,E,F

1 Department of Periodontology and Oral Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland

2 Integrated Dentistry Department, Faculty of Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Kraków, Poland


The aim of the study was to raise awareness amongst health care workers (HCW) on blood-borne disease transmission and facilitate the management of stressful situations after injuries contaminated with HIV, HBV, HCV, annually estimated at 2.1 million, 926,000 and 327,000, respectively. The literature was studied to analyze the post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and therapy for dental staff (dentist, dental hygienist, dental nurse and other HCW taking responsibility for the decontamination of instruments). The analysis included the following elements: first steps after injury at a dental office, referring to a qualified physician, laboratory testing according to HCW’s and patient’s immunological status, beginning of treatment regimen, time and types of follow-up examinations. PEP should be started immediately after needlestick injury and consist of: cleansing the injured site with soap and water, administering first aid, laboratory testing of the affected HCW and the source patient, referring the HCW to a physician experienced with infectious disease control and follow up examinations. If the physician decides that the risk for HIV exposure is high, the regimen of antiretroviral medications begins within 2 h after the incident. Deep injuries and injuries with visible blood increase the risk of transmission. The primary way to prevent the transmission of blood-borne pathogens is to avoid occupational blood exposure by staying focused during the procedures and using preventive measures. PEP would be much more effective if every medical office had written guidelines covering the prevention and management of needlestick injuries and the dental staff periodically attended educational seminars and training.

Key words

HIV, HBV, healthcare workers, needlestick injury, post-exposure prophylaxis

Słowa kluczowe

HIV, HBV, pracownicy służby zdrowia, zakłucie igłą, profilaktyka poekspozycyjna

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