Occupational exposure to blood and bodily fluids among healthcare workers in Serbian general hospitals
The risk of occupational bloodborne infections (HBV, HCV, and HIV) among healthcare workers remains a serious issue in developing countries. The aim of this study was to estimate occupational exposure to bloodborne infections among general hospital workers in Serbia. This cross-sectional study was conducted in the spring of 2013 and included 5,247 healthcare workers from 17 general hospitals. The questionnaire was anonymous, self-completed, and included socio-demographic information with details of blood and bodily fluid exposure over the career and in the previous year (2012). Significant predictors of sharps injuries were determined with multiple logistic regressions. The distribution of accidents in 2012 was equal between the genders (39 %), but in entire career it was more prevalent in women (67 %). The most vulnerable group were nurses. Most medical doctors, nurses, and laboratory technicians reported stabs or skin contact with patients’ blood/other bodily fluid/tissue as their last accident. Healthcare workers from the north/west part of the country reported a significantly lower number of accidents over the entire career than the rest of the country (p<0.001). The south of Serbia stood out as the most accident-prone in 2012 (p=0.042).