Hepatitis B infection is a well-recognized occupational risk for health care professionals. The good news is that there is a safe vaccine to prevent infection, as well as effective postexposure protocols to minimize the risk of infection.
- Post exposure prophylaxis with hepatitis
B immune globulin (HBIG) and/or hepatitis B
vaccine series should be considered for occupational
exposures after evaluation of the hepatitis
B surface antigen (HBsAg) status of the source,
and the vaccination and vaccine-response status
of the exposed person.
- Neither pregnancy nor lactation should be
considered a contraindication to vaccination
of women. HBIG is not contraindicated for pregnant
or lactating women.
- Employers are required to establish exposure-control plans that include postexposure follow-up for their employees and to comply with incident reporting requirements mandated by the 1992 OSHA bloodborne pathogen standard.