Management of blood and body fluid exposures in police service staff

K. Dunleavy, A. Taylor, J. Gow, B. Cullen, K. Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background Police service staff are at risk of occupational exposure to blood and body fluids with the consequent risk of blood-borne virus (BBV) infection.

Aims To examine the types of occupational exposure incidents experienced by Scottish police service staff and to evaluate the post-incident management provided by their occupational health (OH) services.

Methods Data were collected on the circumstances and the post-incident management of each incident reported to OH over 12 months. An expert panel reviewed the post-incident management provided by OH.

Results The panel considered that the majority of cases of occupational exposure incurred little or no risk of BBV transmission. In general, the expert panel assessed the post-incident management provided by OH units serving the police as adequate and appropriate. However, some concerns were raised in relation to a small number of incorrect risk assessments and an inconsistent approach to hepatitis C virus (HCV) follow-up blood testing.

Conclusions The study findings suggest that most Scottish police OH departments were providing adequate post-incident management. There is, however, a need for more clarity around BBV risk assessment terminology and development of a standardized HCV testing protocol.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-545
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • Blood
  • blood-borne virus
  • body fluids
  • HBV
  • HCV
  • HIV
  • occupational exposure
  • occupational health
  • police


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