Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens and Management of Exposure Incidents in Nigerian Dental Schools

Sofola, OO ; Folayan, MO ; Denloye, OO ; Okeigbemen, SA (2007)


The goal of this study was to determine the frequency of occupational exposures to bloodborne pathogens amongst Nigerian clinical dental students, their HBV vaccination status, and reporting practices. A cross-sectional study of all clinical dental students in the four Nigerian dental schools was carried out by means of an anonymous self-administered questionnaire that asked questions on demography, number and type of exposure, management of the exposures, personal protection against cross infection, and the reporting of such exposures. One hundred and fifty-three students responded (response rate of 84.5 percent). Only thirty-three (37.9 percent) were fully vaccinated against HBV. Ninety (58.8 percent) of the students have had at least one occupational exposure. There was no significantly associated difference between sex, age, location of school, and exposure. Most of the exposures (44.4 percent) occurred in association with manual tooth cleaning. There was inadequate protection of the eyes. None of the exposures were formally reported. It is the responsibility of training institutions to ensure the safety of the students by mandatory HBV vaccination prior to exposure and adequate training in work safety. Written policies and procedures should be developed and made easily accessible to all workers to facilitate prompt reporting and management of all occupational exposures