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Surveillance of Occupational Blood and Body Fluid Exposures Among French Healthcare Workers in 2004

  • A. G. Venier (a1), A. Vincent (a2), F. L'Hériteau (a3), N. Floret (a4), H. Sénéchal (a5), D. Abiteboul (a6), E. Reyreaud (a1), B. Coignard (a7) and P. Parneix (a1)...



To estimate the incidence rate of reported occupational blood and body fluid exposures among French healthcare workers (HCWs).


Prospective national follow-up of HCWs from January 1 to December 31, 2004.


University hospitals, hospitals, clinics, local medical centers, and specialized psychiatric centers were included in the study on a voluntary basis.


At participating medical centers, every reported blood and body fluid exposure was documented by the occupational practitioner in charge of the exposed HCW by use of an anonymous, standardized questionnaire.


A total of 375 medical centers (15% of French medical centers, accounting for 29% of hospital beds) reported 13,041 blood and body fluid exposures; of these, 9,396 (72.0%) were needlestick injuries. Blood and body fluid exposures were avoidable in 39.1% of cases (5,091 of 13,020), and 52.2% of percutaneous injuries (4,986 of 9,552) were avoidable (5.9% due to needle recapping). Of 10,656 percutaneous injuries, 22.6% occurred during an injection, 17.9% during blood sampling, and 16.6% during surgery. Of 2,065 splashes, 22.6% occurred during nursing activities, 19.1% during surgery, 14.1% during placement or removal of an intravenous line, and 12.0% during manipulation of a tracheotomy tube. The incidence rates of exposures were 8.9 per 100 hospital beds (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.7-9.0 exposures), 2.2 per 100 full-time—equivalent physicians (95% CI, 2.4-2.6 exposures), and 7.0 per 100 full-time—equivalent nurses (95% CI, 6.8-7.2 exposures). Human immunodeficiency virus serological status was unknown for 2,789 (21.4%) of 13,041 patients who were the source of the blood and body fluid exposures.


National surveillance networks for blood and body fluid exposures help to better document their characteristics and risk factors and can enhance prevention at participating medical centers.


Corresponding author

Southwestern France Infection Control Coordinating Center (CCLIN Sud-Ouest), CHU Pellegrin, 33076 Bordeaux Cedex, France (


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Surveillance of Occupational Blood and Body Fluid Exposures Among French Healthcare Workers in 2004

  • A. G. Venier (a1), A. Vincent (a2), F. L'Hériteau (a3), N. Floret (a4), H. Sénéchal (a5), D. Abiteboul (a6), E. Reyreaud (a1), B. Coignard (a7) and P. Parneix (a1)...


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