...and every bit as lethal! To protect ourselves, our employees, and our patients, we must forget the shortcuts and follow ALL the infection control recommendations listed on page 8 of this course:
Health departments, state dental boards, and juries have been and will continue to hold us responsible. So stay out of trouble with our newly revised, updated hepatitis virus manual for dental office workers and learn what not to do when you hear of or see signs of hepatitis, what you should tell the patient, and what postexposure prophylaxis steps to take should they be needed.
How to know what to order? This course comes as a booklet with the course and test all in one so you are only paying to take the test. If you would like to receive an electronic copy of the booklet/test then choose our PDF email option! Would you rather receive a hard copy in the mail? Then choose the book/test option. Email courses will take their test online while those that choose the hard copy can either mail their test back in the envelop we provide for grading OR take your test right online for immediate grading.
(book and test) Traditional Hardcopy
(PDF and test by email) Online Only
Deaths. Worldwide, more than 520,000 people die as a result of chronic hepatitis B each year. In the United States alone, an estimated 5,000 persons die each year from chronic liver disease caused by hepatitis B.
Conversely, the number of U.S. deaths caused by acute hepatitis B is relatively low. Deaths reported to be due to acute hepatitis B currently number about 35, and the majority of the victims are age 40 or older.
High HBV concentrations have been found in blood, blood products, and body fluids containing visible blood (e.g., bloody saliva, bloody respiratory secretions, and menstrual fluids). HBV has also been found in bile, feces, cerebrospinal fluid, and synovial fluid, but usually in low concentrations.
Transmission via injections or cuts. Because blood contains the highest HBV concentrations, it is the most common substance in which the virus is transmitted in health care settings. Needlesticks and other sharp implement injuries can allow HBV-containing substances to be injected or absorbed into the skin. In clinical settings, these injuries most often occur during the use of hollow-bore needles filled with blood, but other types of sharps are involved as well.
A small cut or break in the skin, a dermatitis, or even a hangnail can also provide an opening for HBV infection. Health care workers should wear gloves whenever they might touch any patient body substance, except sweat. For dental professionals, the primary source of HBV infection is bloody saliva.
HBV is still often transmitted by use of contaminated needles during illegal injection drug use. The virus can also enter the blood when people nick themselves with a borrowed HBV-contaminated razor, experience gum bleeding while using a borrowed HBV-contaminated toothbrush, or undergo ear piercing, tattooing, or acupuncture with HBV-contaminated instruments.