Blood and Body Fluid Exposure

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

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 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 by following the instructions on The Point. Enlist the help of your preceptor or hospital staff.  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 report to Student Health unless directed by the nurse. 

Evenings, weekends and holidays- report to the UIHC Emergency Treatment Center. 

 

If you are UI student employee or a University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics (UIHC) Employee, follow this procedure : Bloodborne pathogen exposure evaluation