Hand surgery on patients who are "high risk" for blood-borne viruses

S.A. Al-Ani, D. Mohan, A.J. Platt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a risk of transmission of blood-borne viruses (BBV) to health-care workers when performing hand surgery on intravenous drug abusers and other patients known to have BBV. This review summarises methods and procedures that may be employed to help reduce this risk to a minimum. High-risk patients should be identified early and a non-invasive procedure considered. Only experienced staff should scrub and appropriate clothing should be worn. Sharp instrument use should be kept to a minimum and only instrument retraction and suturing should be employed. When possible, wounds should be closed with staples, glue or absorbable sutures. Appropriate steps must be taken to reduce the risk of injuries from sharp bone ends, K-wires and splash exposure during irrigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-431
JournalThe Journal of Hand Surgery British & European Volume
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


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