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Hepatitis B : a serious hazard

Author(s)The Royal College of Midwives
AbstractHepatitis B is a serious condition associated with acute morbidity. Typically infection occurs by transfer of body fluids, and occupationally-acquired infection is a real risk to healthcare workers involved in exposure prone procedures. For midwives, occupational risk is most strongly associated with needlestick injuries and splashes of contaminated body fluids at delivery. These risks have been kept relatively low by the adoption of universal precautions and by high vaccination coverage among healthcare workers. In 1998 the Department of Health recommended that all pregnant women should be offered antenatal screening for hepatitis B, and that babies born to infected mothers should receive a complete course of immunisation at birth.
Date of publishing03/01/99
Date of last review by us10/26/2005
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