Fifth of e antigen negative carriers of hepatitis B virus should not perform exposure prone proceduresBMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7074.144 (Published 11 January 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:144
- E H Boxall, Consultant clinical scientista,
- A Ballard, Clinical scientista
- 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 …