Background Postexposure prophylaxis for occupational exposure to hepatitis B virus (HBV) plays an important role in the prevention of HBV infections in health care workers (HCWs). We examined data concerning the acceptable duration between occupational exposure and administration of a hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) injection in an occupational clinical setting. Methods A retrospective analysis was conducted with data from 143 cases of HCWs exposed to HBV in 15 secondary and tertiary teaching hospitals between January 2005 and June 2013. Data were taken from the infection control records of each hospital. Results Active vaccination after HBV exposure was started in 119 cases (83.2%) and postvaccination testing for hepatitis B antibody showed positive seroconversion in 93% of cases. In 98 cases (68.5%), HBIG was administered within 24 hours after HBV exposure; however, 45 HCWs (31.5%) received an HBIG injection more than 24 hours postexposure and 2 among the 45 received an injection after 7 days. Although 31.5% received an HBIG injection more than 24 hours postexposure, no cases of seroconversion to hepatitis b antibody positivity occurred. Conclusions For susceptible HCWs, HBIG administered between 24 hours and 7 days postexposure may be as effective as administration within 24 hours in preventing occupational HBV infection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases