Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
Breast Cancer?
More than three-quarters of women who get breast cancer are over whtat age?
over 40 years
over 45 years
over 50 years
over 55 years

 
 
 What Doctors Don't Tell You: Hepatitis B vaccine 
 
What Doctors Don't Tell You © (Volume 15, Issue 4)
Q I want to train as a midwife, but don’t want to take the required hepatitis B vaccination. Is there any way out of this? In addition, what are the risks of contracting this disease as a midwife? - Name and address withheld

A Although hepatitis B is highly infectious (with few warning symptoms), its prevalence is low - less than 0.5 per cent in North America and Western Europe, and 2-7 per cent in South America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Rates are higher - 8-20 per cent - in tropical Africa and South East Asia (J Med Virol, 1994; 44: 144-51).

Women are universally screened for hepatitis B in pregnancy, whether or not they are at risk, but infection rates among pregnant women are also low, with a national prevalence of around 0.1-0.2 per cent (Vaccine, 1990; 9 [suppl]: S6-9).

Rates are highest in inner-city areas and infection is related to ethnic origin. In a sample of 3522 pregnant women in the West Midlands, only 20 (0.56 per cent) were carriers (Epidemiol Infect, 1994; 113: 523-8). In largely middle-class areas such as East Anglia and Oxford, the prevalence is 0.083 and 0.15 per cent, respectively (Epidemiol Infect, 1996; 117: 121-31).

There is no evidence to show what midwives’ specific risk might be. Nevertheless, since 1993, the Department of Health has recommended that all healthcare workers who do ‘exposure-prone’ procedures be immunised against hepatitis B. Staff who decline the jab are treated as though they have tested positive for the disease, and not allowed to carry out procedures where there is a risk that injury to themselves will result in their blood contaminating a patient’s open tissues or vice versa.

According to the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), the risk of a midwife being infected by a mother is strongly associated with needlestick injuries and splashing of contaminated blood or amniotic fluid into the mucous membranes of the mouth, eyes or any open wound.

The risk to midwives is greatly increased by routine procedures such as breaking the waters, attaching fetal scalp electrodes, and cutting and suturing of the perineum - procedures that have no benefits and lots of risks for the mothers as well. Midwives are also in danger of getting amniotic fluid or blood in their mouths or eyes is when the woman is lying on her back at eye-level on a high platform - the ‘normal’ delivery position in the average labour ward.

Regular testing of medical staff for hepatitis B rather than universal vaccination would seem to be a more logical way to go. Our own enquiries suggest that even though they insist on the jab, universities can’t make vaccination a condition of taking a midwifery course. But this changes once you are trained and looking for employment with a Trust, which can refuse you a placement.

Remember, however, that the hepatitis B vaccine fails in around 10 per cent (Nurs Times, 1995; 91: 29-31) and includes, among other things, yeast, aluminium and thimerosal (mercury). It has been linked with autoimmune diseases such as arthritis (Scand J Rheumatol, 1995; 24: 50-2), neurological diseases such as Guillain-Barré syndrome (J Med Assoc Thai, 2000; 83: 1124-6), multiple sclerosis and gut disorders (Hepatogastroenterology, 2002; 49: 1571-5) among susceptible adults.

The RCM recommends that midwives who decide against, or don’t respond to, vaccination be regularly screened (see Hepatitis B: A Serious Hazard, RCM Position Paper 9a, March 1999). Likewise, some employers may agree to your signing a disclaimer and having your blood tested regularly to prove you are not a carrier, although this may require some assertive negotiation on your part.

 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
What Doctors Don't Tell You What Doctors Don’t Tell You is one of the few publications in the world that can justifiably claim to solve people's health problems - and even save lives. Our monthly newsletter gives you the facts you won't......more
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Integrative Healthcare Symposium 2015
     February 19-21, 2015
     New York, NY USA
 
Wellness Inventory Certification Training (Level I)
     February 24-May 26, 2015
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Communicating, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar