The most important task is to PREVENT a blood borne pathogen exposure (BBPE) by always following Standard Precautions.

If you do have a blood or body fluid exposure, follow the steps below.  It is important for your health (now and in the future) to report the BBPE as soon as you are aware of it and get appropriate evaluation.  If post-exposure prophylaxis is needed, it should be started within 2 hours after the exposure. 

  1. Wash/flush the exposed area.
    • For needlesticks/cuts: clean wound with soap and water immediately for 2 minutes.
    • For splashes: flush mucous membranes with clean water.
    • For eye exposure:  remove contacts if present, and flush eye(s) using an eye wash station.  If you are unsure where to find an eyewash station, start flushing with tap water or sterile eye irrigant immediately for 5 minutes while an eye wash station is located.
  2. Inform your instructor/preceptor/attending physician/ supervisor/RA.
  3. Identify the source of the exposure (in the hospital, the source patient- get name, hospital number).  Your preceptor or hospital staff can assist with this.
  4. In the hospital or clinical setting, initiate the collection of the source patient's labs. In the UIHC, follow the instructions on The Point. Enlist the help of your resident or hospital staff- they will have to order source patient lab work and all the steps are listed for them on The Point. In the College of Dentistry, the lab staff will assist with this step.
    • For exposures in the UIHC:
      • Go to The Point
      • Under "Top Links" on the right side,  click on "Clinical Web Links"
      • Under UIHC Clinical Practice Reference on the left side, there is a section on "Bloodborne Pathogen Exposures (BBP). All instructions for how to order the source patient lab work are listed.  In the College of Dentistry, the lab will assist with this step.
  5. Call the Nurseline at 319-335-9704.
    • Call if you have any questions about what to do.  You do not need to have a Student Health visit unless directed by the nurse. If you are UI student paid employee or a University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics (UIHC) Employee, go to The Point and click on "Incident Reporting" under "Top Links".  Click on "Safety Incident Reporting" to complete a Riskconnect report of the incident.