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Blood Borne Pathogen Exposures & Needlesticks

During your time at MUSC, you may experience

  • A needlestick or sharps injury
  • An exposure to patient blood or other body fluid

If either of these were to occur, follow these steps 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 !

  1. Treat the exposure.
    • Wash needlesticks and cuts with soap and water for 5 minutes.
    • Flush splashes to the nose, mouth, or skin with water for 15 minutes.
    • Irrigate eyes with clean water, saline, or sterile irrigants for 15 minutes.
  2. Report the exposure immediately to your Supervisor.
  3. Contain the source patient in order that labs can be drawn within 1-2 hours of incident.
  4. Make sure the source patient remains available to have their blood drawn and sent for STAT labs (HIV, Hepatitis B Surface Antigen, Hepatitis C Antibody).

  5. Call Student Health Services.
  6. Call Student Health Services at 843-792-3664 during normal operating hours (Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM) to report the exposure. For exposures that occur at MUSC when Student Health Services is closed (after hours, weekends, or holidays), call the MUSC operator (843-792-2123) and have the Hospital Supervisor paged to your extension.

  7. Carefully read and follow the instructions specific to your location.
  8. Students who sustain an exposure during a rotation at a non-MUSC clinical site are to follow the protocol of that institution and can be seen at MUSC Student Health for any needed follow up (see Non-MUSC Off-Campus Clinical Sites below). Students who are in Charleston on an off-campus clinical rotation can call MUSC Student Health or the MUSC operator for consultation.

Location-specific instructions for Blood Borne Pathogen Exposure:


Universal Blood Borne Pathogen Exposure Protocol

Resources For Further Information