Baltic Dental and Maxillofacial Journal
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March, 2011, Vol. 13, No. 1


© 2011 Stomatologija

Stomatologija 2011; 13 (1): 2-7 191 KB

Percutaneous injuries and hepatitis B vaccination among Lithuanian dentists

Jurate Rimkuviene, Alina Puriene, Vytaute Peciuliene, Linas Zaleckas


The transmission of blood-borne viruses in dental offices is a potential hazard to patients and dental staff.

The aim of the study was to clarify the current situation regarding hepatitis B virus vaccination, percutaneous injuries among members of the Lithuanian dental community.

Material and Methods. A confidential, self administered questionnaire was send to all 2235 Lithuanian general dental practitioners. The questionnaire collected data on sociodemographic characteristics, practice time, working place and environment, hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination, history of hepatitis B infection, and needlestick and sharp instruments injury (NSII).

Results. Overall response rate was 64.7% (87.4% of them were women; 64.1% were working in five major cities of Lithuania and 60.8% in private clinics. Mean age of repondents was 44.8 (range 23 – 74 years). As much as 95.3% dentists expressed concern about the risk of cross-infection from patients to themselves and their dental assistants. Respondents reported: complete immunization against HBV (35.9%); previous hepatitis infection (4.3%); needlestick and sharp instruments injury (78.5%); collecting medical history about HBV from patients (30.9%).

Conclusions. Despite a high risk of needlestick and sharp instruments injury in the dental practice as well as high risk of HBV infection and the existence of strong rules and recommendations for routine HBV vaccination, vaccine coverage among Lithuanian dentists cannot be assumed to be adequate. Further continuing education programs and stronger control measures might be suggested.

Key words: questionnaire, general dental practitioner, hepatitis B, needlestick and sharp instruments injury.

Received: 24 03 2010

Accepted for publishing: 30 03 2011

*Institute of Odontology, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Lithuania

Jurate Rimkuviene* – D.D.S., assist. professor

Alina Puriene* – D.D.S., PhD, professor (HP)

Vytaute Peciuliene* – D.D.S., PhD, professor

Linas Zaleckas* – D.M.S., PhD, assoc. professor

Address correspondence to: Assist. prof. Jūratė Rimkuvienė, Žalgirio str. 115, 08217 Vilnius, Lithuania.

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