Updated Guidelines for Healthcare Workers with Hepatitis B
The CDC updated the guidelines for how facilities should manage healthcare providers with hepatitis B so as to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to patients.
The goal ofÂ is to promote patient safety while providing risk management and practice guidance to HBV-infected health-care providers and students, particularly those performing exposure-prone procedures such as certain types of surgery.
The report reaffirms â€śthe 1991 CDC recommendation that HBV infection alone should not disqualify infected persons from the practice or study of surgery, dentistry, medicine, or allied health fields.â€ť
Updates and changes to the previous recommendations include:
- Patients do not have to be pre-notified of their healthcare providersâ€™ HBV status
- Use HBV DNA serum levels rather than hepatitis B e-antigen status to monitor infectivity
- For those health-care professionals requiring oversight, specific suggestions for composition of expert review panels and threshold value of serum HBV DNA considered â€śsafeâ€ť for practice
The report identifies criteria for HBV-infected providers performing exposure-prone procedures. Generally, these procedures include â€śmajor abdominal, cardiothoracic, and orthopedic surgery, repair of major traumatic injuries, abdominal and vaginal hysterectomy, caesarean section, vaginal deliveries, and major oral or maxillofacial surgery (e.g., fracture reductions).â€ť