1Associate Professor of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, Shiraz, Iran
2Resident of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, and Health Services Shiraz, Iran.
Introduction: Dental students are at high risk for occupational exposure to blood borne pathogens (including HBV, HCV and AIDS) via sharps and needle stick injuries (NSIs). The aim of this study was to evaluate sharps and needle stick injuries among dental students and students' practice regarding protective strategies against blood borne pathogens. Methods: This cross-sectional study was performed on 137 dental students during clinical training setting at Shiraz/Iran dental school in 2004. A self administered questionnaire was used for data gathering and completed by 137 (50.4%female &49.6%male) students. Results : From 137 students, 73.7.% reported at least one NSI that most commonly (53%) had occurred in the patient room .From all, 85% had information about standard precautions and 94.9% had been vaccinated against hepatitis B. Mean score of practice in protection strategies against blood borne pathogens was 14.3 (of 25). Females' practice in regard to protection strategies was significantly better in comparison to males (P<0.01). Conclusion: These data confirm that dental students have a high rate of NSIs and attention should be directed to increase their knowledge about standard protective strategies against blood borne pathogens.