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The Prevalence of Percutaneous Exposure Incidents Among Staff and Students Treating Pediatric Patients

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Purpose: To determine the prevalence and types of percutaneous exposure incidents (PEIs) among staff and students at a dental school, compare the prevalence of PEIs sustained in pediatric dentistry with other specialties, and evaluate the compliance to post-exposure protocols.
Methods: First, a retrospective data analysis of PEIs between January 2012 and December 2017 was done. Following that, a cross-sectional study of dental students, dentists, and dental clinical assistants (DCA), using a self-administered questionnaire to collect information regarding PEIs, was conducted between January 2016 and December 2017; post-exposure management data was also collected.
Results: From the archival data, 94 PEIs were recorded, with most exposures occurring among dental students (62.8 percent), followed by dentists (12.3 percent) and DCAs (10.6 percent). Needlesticks (experienced by 35.1 percent) were the most common type of injury. Only three injuries were during a pediatric dental procedure. For the cross-sectional study, there were 223 participants, with 17.5 percent reporting a PEI. The most common type, site, and cause of PEIs were bur use, fingers, and a lapse in concentration, respectively. Almost 40 percent of PEIs were not reported, with the most common reason being "it was only minor".
Conclusion: PEIs are not more likely to occur in pediatric dentistry compared to other disciplines. Improvements are required in the compliance of PEI postexposure management.
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Keywords: NEEDLESTICKS; PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY; PERCUTANEOUS EXPOSURE INCIDENTS; SHARP INJURIES; UNDERREPORTING

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Dr. Kan is a general dental practioners, Perth, Western Australia, Australia 2: Dr. Ho is a general dental practioners, Perth, Western Australia, Australia 3: Dr. Siddiqi is a graduate student, Department of Periodontology School of Dentistry and Oral Health, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia 4: Dr. Zafar is a senior lecturer, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: May 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Acquired after the merger between the American Society of Dentistry for Children and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in 2002, the Journal of Dentistry for Children (JDC) is an internationally renowned journal whose publishing dates back to 1934. Published three times a year, JDC promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. It covers a wide range of topics related to the clinical care of children, from clinical techniques of daily importance to the practitioner, to studies on child behavior and growth and development. JDC also provides information on the physical, psychological and emotional conditions of children as they relate to and affect their dental health.
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