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HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C in the Code One trauma population.


Am Surg. 1997 Jul;63(7):657-9. Unique Identifier : AIDSLINE MED/97346123

The resuscitation of a trauma patient is a very hectic and seemingly chaotic situation. The nature of the situation increases the likelihood that a health care worker will receive an accidental needle stick while caring for the patient. There is also a common belief that there is a higher prevalence of communicable bloodborne diseases in the trauma population, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes the greatest amount of fear. This belief of higher prevalence communicable diseases in the trauma population is supported by the literature. We sent blood from our Code One (life-threatening) trauma population for analysis for HIV, hepatitis B surface antigen, and hepatitis C antibodies. We found that 0.52% of our trauma population had HIV. We also found that 1.5 per cent had hepatitis B surface antigen, and 13.8 per cent had hepatitis C antibodies. Our prevalence of HIV and hepatitis B is similar to that found in other studies of the trauma populations and higher than the general population. Our hepatitis C prevalence is surprising, considering the very low reported prevalence in the general population. Hepatitis C may be a more significant threat to the health of medical personnel than previously believed.



Information in this article was accurate in September 30, 1997. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.