Persons with needle-stick injury

It is very important to seek advice from a local Hepatologist regarding a needle-stick injury before pursuing a treatment course of any kind!

Healthcare Workers

Healthcare professionals exposed to accidental inoculation with infected blood or saliva represent another risk group. It has been suggested that there is a 10% risk of HCV infection from a single needlestick injury with HCV-RNA-positive blood. Another study has reported that HCV is the most common parenterally transmitted pathogen to which needlestick recipients are exposed. Contamination of immunoassay control samples has been cited as a further possible risk factor for HCV infection in hospital laboratories. Contact of samples with broken skin, penetrating injuries when removing metal foil caps from vials of freeze-dried material, and use of syringes and needles for dispensing are all possible routes of transmission. One report from Australia has also suggested that patient-to-patient HCV transmission may have occurred through anesthetic tubing contaminated with respiratory secretions from an infected index case.

The official recommendations in Canada are that the individual should be tested for hep C immediately, and again at 3, 6 and possibly 12 mths. At 3 and 6 mths. the individual should also be tested for AST and ALT, to see if there is hepatitis. If there is acute hepatitis the patient should be treated with interferon. There are several regimens in the literature. None have been compared head to head. The approach that has been suggested is 10 mu three times a week until ALT normalizes, or for 3 months. If the ALT is still elevated, then the treatment should be considered a failure.

It is very important to seek advice from a local Hepatologist regarding a needle-stick injury before pursuing a treatment course of any kind!

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment