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Fifth of e antigen negative carriers of hepatitis B virus should not perform exposure prone procedures

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 11 January 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:144
  1. E H Boxall, Consultant clinical scientista,
  2. A Ballard, Clinical scientista
  1. a Public Health Laboratory, Birmingham Heartlands and Solihull NHS Trust, Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham B9 5SS

    Martyn Halle has reported on a surgeon with hepatitis B who transmitted the infection to a patient who subsequently died.1 2 This case has put pressure on the Department of Health to review guidelines on the employment of healthcare workers with hepatitis B who carry out exposure prone procedures. The current guidelines exclude all carriers of hepatitis B virus who are also positive for hepatitis B e antigen (that is, those with high infectivity) from carrying out such procedures.

    It has been recognised that carriers of hepatitis B …

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