Thursday, April 4, 2013

Exposture to Blood: Follow-up After An Exposure

What follow-up should be done after an exposure?

Because postexposure treatment is highly effective in preventing HBV infection, CDC does not recommend routine follow-up after treatment. However, any symptoms suggesting hepatitis (e.g., yellow eyes or skin, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever, stomach or joint pain, extreme tiredness) should be reported to your healthcare provider. If you receive hepatitis B vaccine, you should be tested 1-2 months after completing the vaccine series to determine if you have responded to the vaccine and are protected against HBV infection.
You should be tested for HCV antibody and liver enzyme levels (alanine aminotransferase or ALT) as soon as possible after the exposure (baseline) and at 4-6 months after the exposure. To check for infection earlier, you can be tested for the virus (HCV RNA) 4-6 weeks after the exposure. Report any symptoms suggesting hepatitis (mentioned above) to your healthcare provider.
You should be tested for HIV antibody as soon as possible after exposure (baseline) and periodically for at least 6 months after the exposure (e.g., at 6 weeks, 12 weeks, and 6 months). If you take antiviral drugs for postexposure treatment, you should be checked for drug toxicity by having a complete blood count and kidney and liver function tests just before starting treatment and 2 weeks after starting treatment. You should report any sudden or severe flu-like illness that occurs during the follow-up period, especially if it involves fever, rash, muscle aches, tiredness, malaise, or swollen glands. Any of these may suggest HIV infection, drug reaction, or other medical conditions. You should contact the healthcare provider managing your exposure if you have any questions or problems during the follow-up period.

National Safety Compliance has also developed numerous safety training materials specifically for the Healthcare Industry.

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