Postexposure Prophylaxis following Occupational Exposure to Hepatitis B Virus
Last updated: January 20, 2006
A 47-year-old housekeeping worker at a hospital presents to the employee health clinic explaining she had suffered a needlestick injury. Approximately 24 hours ago, as she was changing the linens on a patient's bed, she felt a sharp pain in her index finger and noted a syringe with a needle under one of the sheets. The syringe and needle had been used 4 hours previously during a central venous catheter line placement on a patient with known chronic active hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (positive HBsAg and positive HBeAg). This source patient had recently tested negative for hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV. When asked about the delay in reporting the exposure, she said that she was concerned about getting fired for not wearing gloves. A review of her medical records indicates that she had no evidence of prior infection or immunity to hepatitis B, but she declined hepatitis B vaccination when she was hired for reasons that were not specified.
Which of the answers below is TRUE regarding this healthcare worker and her occupational exposure to hepatitis B virus (HBV)?