Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Healthcare workers (HCWs) run the risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Studies investigating the HBV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) serology of HCWs have been generally conducted in secondary or tertiary hospitals. In this study we aimed to determine the relationships between education level and HBV and HCV serology and HBV vaccination status of ambulance attendants. Materials and methods: The data of this study were obtained by retrospective review of ambulance personnel files in Sakarya Province, Turkey. Results: Out of 314 ambulance attendants, 216 (68.7%; 78 males, 138 females) were enrolled in this study. The mean length of employment in the province?s ambulance service was 5.22 years. While hepatitis B surface antigen positivity was found in 3 (1.4%) workers, 147 (68%) of them were positive for hepatitis B surface antibodies (anti-HBs). The lowest HBV vaccination rate was 12.5%, in drivers. Naturally acquired immunity against HBV was again the highest in drivers (17.5%; P < 0.05). All personnel were anti-HCV-negative. Anti-HBs positivity is rather low in the province?s ambulance service attendants, and positive anti-HBs status related to vaccination is associated with vocational training. Conclusion: Training should be performed to increase HBV awareness of ambulance attendants. Nonvaccinated personnel should be determined on the first day of employment, and regulations should be put in place to ensure their vaccination.


Ambulance, healthcare workers, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, immunization, education

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