1887
Volume 2016, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0253-8253
  • E-ISSN: 2227-0426

Abstract

Morgues are high risk areas for the spread of infection from cadavers to staff during the post-mortem examination. Infection can spread from corpses to workers by airborne transmission, by direct contact, or through needle and sharp object injuries. Knowledge about the prevalence of these infections on autopsy is essential to determine the risk of transmission and to further enforce safety measures. This is a descriptive study. All autopsies performed in the Department of Forensic Medicine at Jordan University Hospital during the study period were tested for the serology of human immunodeficiency, hepatitis B and C viruses. Positive tests were confirmed by nucleic acid testing. A total of 242 autopsies were tested. Age ranged from 3 days to 94 years (median 75.5 years, mean 45.3 years (21.9 ±  SD)). There were 172 (71%) males. The cause of death was considered natural in 137 (56.6%) cases, accidental in 89 (36.8%), homicide in nine (3.7%), suicide in four (1.7%), and unknown in three (1.2%) cases. Hepatitis B surface antigen was positive in five (2.1%) cases. Hepatitis C virus antibody was positive in five (2.1%) cases and the hepatitis C virus polymerase chain reaction was positive in two (0.8%) cases. HIV antibody was not detected in any of the cases. The infection status of cases was not associated with age, sex, nationality, or cause of death. The study findings indicated that there is a low prevalence of virus-infected autopsies in Jordan. However, the risk of transmission remains a potential threat and therefore the necessary precautions should always be taken during autopsy.

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2017-04-21
2019-08-20
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): autopsy , hepatitis B virus , hepatitis C virus , human immunodeficiency virus and Jordan
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