Date: Monday, May 4, 2015
Session Time: 5:30pm-6:30pm
Presentation Time: 5:30pm-6:30pm
Location: Exhibit Hall E
Background: Counseling is commonly provided to transplant recipients who are planning to return to work, regarding potential infection risks in the workplace. However, the nature and magnitude of these risks are not fully defined.
Methods: Patients enrolled in a prospective single-center cohort study of post-transplant infectious complications were asked to participate in an additional survey including questions about returning to work.
Results: There were 61 patients (42 SOT, 19 HSCT) who completed the survey, with median post-transplant followup of 20 mos. Of these, 23 SOT (55%) and 11 HSCT (58%) had returned to work at a median of 3.5 mos post-transplant (range, 0.5 18 mos). Most of these (91%) returned to their previous job, in a wide variety of occupations; most common were business/finance, government, and health care. Nearly all (94%) reported job modifications of some kind, of which half (47%) were modifications specifically to reduce infection risk, including avoiding certain work areas such as underground storage, less contact with people/customers, more use of personal protective equipment, less travel, more work from home, avoiding certain patients or animals, and adding hand sanitizers in the workplace. Although 32% reported concerns about infection risks in the workplace, none left their job for that reason. There were no significant differences in overall infection incidence or specific infections between the groups who did and did not return to work. There was only 1 patient with an invasive fungal infection (aspergillosis in a patient with relapse after HSCT) and no mycobacterial or nocardial infections were identified in this cohort.
Conclusions: Over half of patients participating in a survey of occupational infection risks reported returning to work, most to their previous job. Modifications to reduce infection risk in the workplace were common. In this cohort, no specifically occupation-related infections were identified, suggesting that current counseling is effective, but larger studies and longer followup are needed to confirm this.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Avery R, Ostrander D, Shoham S, Alp S, Lu N, Cave C, Kraus E, Marr K. Return to Work and Occupational Infection Risks in Transplant Recipients [abstract]. Am J Transplant. 2015; 15 (suppl 3). https://atcmeetingabstracts.com/abstract/return-to-work-and-occupational-infection-risks-in-transplant-recipients/. Accessed November 13, 2019.
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