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Infection Control and Postexposure Prophylaxis for the Pregnant Healthcare Worker


Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology: June 2012 - Volume 55 - Issue 2 - p 571–588
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e31824f3a07
Prevention of Infection in the Obstetric Patient

Pregnant health care workers (HCW) may be exposed to pathogens during routine patient care duties. Although they do not seem to be at higher risk for infection compared with nonpregnant HCW, certain infections can be associated with increased maternal morbidity, mortality, and adverse perinatal outcomes. Primary prevention through vaccination is crucial. Medical providers must know which vaccines are safe during pregnancy and which should be postponed until after delivery. Pregnancy should not be a contraindication for certain postexposure prophylaxis regimens after an occupational exposure. Pregnant HCW need to be educated about specific occupational risks and the recommended infection control precautions.

The Ohio State University Medical Center, Division of Infectious Diseases, Columbus, Ohio

J.A.B. has no conflicts of interest. J.E.M. has served on an advisory board for Medline Industries Inc.

Correspondence: Jose A. Bazan, DO, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Division of Infection Diseases, N-1101 Doan Hall, Columbus, OH. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.