Health Questions and Answers

Question: How should you treat a health care worker with a recent (< 48 hours) needlestick exposure to hepatitis B?

Answer:

The worker should receive hepatitis immunoglobulin, 0.06 ml/kg IM, as soon as possible and within 7 days of exposure. If the worker has not previously received the hepatitis B vaccine, the vaccination program should be initiated with the usual three doses-the first dose within 14 days after exposure and again at 1 and 6 months.

Reference:  Sleisenger MH, Fordtran JS (eds): Gastrointestinal Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Management, 7th ed. Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders, 2003.

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