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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


PEREZ RUIZ, Cristina et al. Incidence of accidental exposure to blood and body fluids among healthcare professionals in a community hospital. Gac Sanit [online]. 2017, vol.31, n.6, pp.505-510.  Epub Nov 30, 2020. ISSN 0213-9111.


To determine the annual incidence of healthcare professionals' accidental exposure to blood and body fluids in a community hospital and describe their characteristics, associated situations and follow-up.


A longitudinal, retrospective study of biological accidents voluntarily reported on a yearly basis by exposed healthcare professionals at Fundació Hospital de l'Esperit Sant (in Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Barcelona, Spain), between 2005 and 2014. A descriptive analysis of the variables related to the exposed professional, the exposure itself, its production mechanism and the source patient was conducted. The rate of exposure was calculated per 100 occupied beds and by job category.


318 exposures were reported; 89.62% were percutaneous and the remainder were non-intact skin or mucous contamination. The mean percutaneous exposure incidence rate from 2005 to 2014 was 17.6 per 100 occupied beds/year (limits 10.3 in 2013 and 24.5 in 2005). Doctors were exposed to the greatest risk (5.29 exposures per 100 doctors). Over 50% occurred in a surgical setting. 44.2% of exposed healthcare professionals had been working at the centre for 1 year or less on average. Puncture was the most common percutaneous lesion. No cases of occupational viral transmission were reported.


The rate of percutaneous exposure reported in this hospital fluctuated significantly throughout the analysis period. Risk of exposure is related to job category, work experience, the setting and the activity performed.

Keywords : Biological risk; Occupational hazard; Healthcare professional.

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