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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 69; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010069

Knowledge and Attitudes of Dentists with Respect to the Risks of Blood-Borne Pathogens—A Cross-Sectional Study in Poland

1
Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz 90-647, Poland
2
Department of Econometrics, University of Lodz, Lodz 90-214, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 3 December 2016 / Revised: 3 January 2017 / Accepted: 6 January 2017 / Published: 12 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [292 KB, uploaded 12 January 2017]

Abstract

Background: To analyze dentists’ knowledge of blood-borne infections, their attitudes towards infected patients, and to determine the frequency of the contact with infectious material; Methods: We surveyed 192 dentists using an anonymous questionnaire. Results: Only a quarter of dentists responded correctly to all questions. 96% of the examined dentists confirmed that they were more cautious during treatment of patients with HBV, HCV and HIV. 25% of all respondents refuse to help infected patients due to concerns about their own health. The dentists occasionally removed protective clothing to make it “easier” to perform specific procedures. The dentists experienced contact with infectious material most frequently by splashes onto the conjunctiva or as a result of superficial injuries. The risk of injury by a medical tool increased with the years of employment. Re-capping needles was associated with an increased risk of injury; Conclusions: Despite the widespread tolerance of people infected with blood-borne viruses and the well-proven low infection risk to medical personnel, dentists continue to be prejudiced and concerned about their own health and may refuse to treat infected patients. It may be assumed that the proportion of refusing treatment is even greater. This attitude should imply the implementation of training in the field of pathogen transmission and the real risk of infection. View Full-Text
Keywords: dentists; occupational exposure; blood and potentially infectious material; knowledge; attitudes; prevention dentists; occupational exposure; blood and potentially infectious material; knowledge; attitudes; prevention
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Garus-Pakowska, A.; Górajski, M.; Szatko, F. Knowledge and Attitudes of Dentists with Respect to the Risks of Blood-Borne Pathogens—A Cross-Sectional Study in Poland. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 69.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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