Responding to Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure

UHS–Occupational Health provides laminated badge-sizes cards with the following procedures. Contact to request the cards for your employees.

Download an 8.5 x 11 procedure poster to post and distribute in your department:
Employee Procedure Poster
Student Procedure Poster

What To Do If Exposed to Bloodborne Pathogens

  1. Clean it. Wash the exposed area immediately.
    - Wash needlesticks and cuts with soap and water
    - Flush splashes to the nose, mouth, or skin with water
    - Irrigate eyes with clean water, saline, or sterile irrigants

  2. Get treated. Seek medical treatment immediately. 
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that the exposed person seek treatment within 1–2 hours after initial exposure.

    Residents, fellows, and other clinical staff are encouraged to seek immediate care at their training/work site through Employee Health Services or in the Emerency Department. Talk to your supervisor to learn site-specific exposure protocols when you begin your employment. 

    Twin Cities Employees
    You can always receive treatment at HealthPartners Occupational and Environmental Medicine (HPOEM). Service can be obtained during normal and urgent care hours on a walk-in basis. It is recommended that you call ahead at (952) 883-6999 to reduce wait times. Outside of normal hours, call HPOEM 24/7 CareLine at (612) 339-3663 or 1-800-284-9745 (TTY 952-883-5474) for directions on where to go for treatment. 

    Note: Regardless of where inital care is obtained, follow-up post exposure care may be obtained at HPOEM. HPOEM clinic locations with Occupational Health and Urgent/After Hours services are:

    Riverside Clinic: 2220 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis 

    St. Paul Clinic: 205 S. Wabasha Street, St. Paul 

    Riverway Clinic: 601 Jacob Lane, Anoka 

    West Clinic: 5100 Gamble Dr., Ste 100, St. Louis Park 

    Regular appointment hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Urgent Care/After Hours service vary. Call (952) 853-8800 for hours, locations, and approximate wait times. 

    Medical Students are encouraged to seek care at their rotation site through employee health services or in the emergency department. You can always visit Boynton Health Service for an immediate appointment during normal and urgent care hours. If Boynton is closed, call the 24-hour Medical Information Nurse Line at (612) 625-7900 for advice on where to go for care.

    Outside Twin Cities
    See our Clinical Services page for treatment locations throughout Minnesota.

  3. Identify the source patient. 
    Identify the source patient with the help of your supervisor, preceptor, and/or the designated representative of the facility. The source patient's blood should be tested after consent is obatained according to your treatment site practices. If the source patient has a known history of HBV, HCV, or HIV, it is unnecessary to test for the specific disease. Results of the source patient's testing will be made available to you to the extent possible under the laws and regulations concerning disclosure of the identity and infection status of the source patient.

    If it is not possible to identify the source patient or obtain a blood sample, institutions's standard procedure should be used to assess the level of risk to you and then provide treatment accordingly.

  4. Report it.
    Employees must complete the electronic University of Minnesota First Report of Injury Form (eFROI) online within 8 business hours after injury to ensure appropriate follow-up and to be eligible for Workers Compensation coverage.

    Visit the Reporting Workers Compensation Related Injuries website for more information.

    Students must report exposures to their supervisor, preceptor, and/or the designated representative of the facility and to Boynton Health Service at (612) 625-7900.

  5. Get a follow-up exam.
    After you fill out the eFROI and obtain initial treatment, be sure to schedule follow-up care with HealthPartners Occupational Medicine or the provider of your choice.

    If you are a student, make an appointment for a follow-up assessment at Boynton Health Service within 72 hours of the exposure.

Your Medical Records

All medical records shall be kept confidential and will not be disclosed to any person within or outside the workplace without the exposed person's express written consent—except as may be required by law. Records shall be maintained for the duration of employment, plus 30-years. If a resident, fellow, or medical student is infected with HBV, HCV, or HIV, they must report this infection to the Medical School's Bloodborne Infectious Disease Review Panel by following instructions on the Students with Blood-Borne Diseases page. This reporting is required by Minnesota law.

If the exposure occurred as a result of contact with a contaminated sharp, the injury must be reported using the First Report of Injury form. The log protects the confidentiality of the injured employee; however, it will contain the following information:

  • The type and brand of device involved in the incident
  • The department or work area where the exposure incident occurred
  • An explanation of how the incident occurred