Registration of blood exposure accidents in the Netherlands by a national call center


Intravenous literature: Schneeberger, P.M., Meiberg, A.E., Warmelts, J., Leenders, S.C.A.P. and van Wijk, P.T.L (2012) Registration of Blood Exposure Accidents in the Netherlands by a Nationally Operating Call Center. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. .


Objective: Healthcare providers and other employees, especially those who do not work in a hospital, may not easily find help after the occurrence of a blood exposure accident. In 2006, a national call center was established in the Netherlands to fill this gap.

Methods: All occupational blood exposure accidents reported to the 24-hours-per-day, 7-days-per-week call center from 2007, 2008, and 2009 were analyzed retrospectively for incidence rates, risk assessment, handling, and preventive measures taken.

Results: A total of 2,927 accidents were reported. The highest incidence rates were reported for private clinics and hospitals (68.5 and 54.3 accidents per 1,000 person-years, respectively). Dental practices started reporting incidents frequently after the arrangement of a collective financial agreement with the call center. Employees of ambulance services, midwife practices, and private clinics reported mostly high-risk accidents, whereas penitentiaries frequently reported low-risk accidents. Employees in mental healthcare facilities, private clinics, and midwife practices reported accidents relatively late. The extent of hepatitis B vaccination in mental healthcare facilities, penitentiaries, occupational health services, and cleaning services was low (

Conclusion: The national call center successfully organized the national registration and handling of blood exposure accidents. The risk of blood exposure accidents could be estimated on the basis of this information for several occupational branches. Targeted preventive measures for healthcare providers and other employees at risk can next be developed.

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