Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) : a practical guide

15 Apr 2010

Occcupational exposure to blood-borne pathogens pose a major threat to health care workers (HCEs), with more than half a million reported cases annually in the USA alone. South African statistics are limited, but small studies show exposure rates varying from 48% in medical students to 54% among ward staff (including doctors, nurses and support staff), to as high as 91% among junior doctors. Of some concern is the fact that over 60% of these incidents are not reported, with a higher rate of not reporting exposure among those with a greater number of exposures. Risks involved in exposures are summarised in Table 1.