Postexposure Prophylaxis, Monitoring, and the Exposure Control Plan
Prevention is paramount and the development of standard operating procedures modeled after evidence-based infection control measures designed to prevent or limit the spread of infection in dentistry are key to the safety of both workers and patients alike. Equally important is the training and education of dental health-care providers about these procedures and their use, monitoring for compliance to see where there is need for improvements, and implementing measures for change to prevent or minimize future noncompliance. Unfortunately, noncompliance with safety measures will always be an issue for some, and despite the use of safety measures, accidents will still occur and occupational exposures will occur. These must be managed according to the various national guidelines. This includes prompt referral to a qualified health-care provider for evaluation of the exposed individual and, where warranted, postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) and appropriate monitoring and follow-up. All of these policies should be clearly written in the office’s Exposure Control Plan. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance for all institutions and private offices to have an exposure control plan (ECP) with clear policies and procedures designed to help dental health-care providers, not only to prevent the spread of infection, but also to know how to manage an occupational exposure incident. This chapter will review the principles of Postexposure Monitoring and Prophylaxis and what goes into an Exposure Control Plan.
KeywordsRegimens for postexposure prophylaxis, and follow-up Dental office exposure control plan National agencies overseeing blood-borne pathogen standards Occupational exposure reporting document Engineering controls Work practice controls Exposure prevention training
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