Needle Stick/Blood and Body Fluid Exposures

Downtown and Community Campuses (General Student Instructions)

In the event of exposure to blood or body fluids you should IMMEDIATELY:

  • Wash the affected area with soap and water.
  • Notify Employee Health during weekday hours (7:30 am - 4:00 pm) at 464-4260.
  • Report to the Emergency Department after hours or on weekends, and identify yourself as an Upstate employee, student or affiliate. Follow up with Employee Health on the next business day.
  • Complete Injury Report PDF Icon

If an exposure occurs while you are visiting another facility, please follow that facility's exposure protocol. Also, please contact the Student Health Office at (315)464-5470, ext 4, as soon as possible to make us aware of the exposure.

Student Exposure to Infectious and Environmental Hazards

(Specific Student Guidelines)

  1. Methods of Prevention: The policies below outline procedures aimed at preventing exposure to infectious and environmental hazards in a healthcare setting.
  2. Standard Precautions Procedure PDF Icon (Policy #: IC D-02)
    Hand Hygiene Policy/Procedure PDF Icon (Policy #: IC D-01)
    Contact Precautions PDF Icon (Policy #: IC C-03)
    Contact Precautions PLUS PDF Icon (Policy #: IC C-05)

  3. Proper Response to Blood and Body Fluid Exposure
  4. Exposures in University Hospital and Other Syracuse Area Facilities

    • Immediately wash the affected area with soap and water or for eye involvement, flush with clean water or normal saline
    • Call Employee/Student Health (ESH) at 464-4260 on weekdays between 7:30 AM - 5 PM
    • Report to the University Hospital Emergency Department after hours, weekends and holidays
    • An Injury Report PDF Icon must be completed and submitted to Employee/Student Health

    Exposures in Facilities Outside of the Syracuse Area

    • Immediately wash the affected area with soap and water or for eye involvement, flush with clean water or normal saline.
    • Immediately report to the nearest Emergency Department unless the student is familiar with the specific facility procedure for exposures.
    • If exposure occurs in an outpatient setting, report to the nearest Emergency Department without delay.
    • Call ESH to report the exposure. If after hours, leave a voicemail message and a contact number.
    • Follow-up testing is coordinated by ESH

    Post-exposure Evaluation and Management

    • Notify ESH as soon as possible, regardless of the facility where the exposure occurred
    • ESH or the Emergency Department practitioner determines the type and extent of exposure and coordinates assessment and testing of the source patient for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C
    • Baseline testing is obtained on the exposed individual for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV, if indicated
    • Testing of source patient is done with appropriate consent
    • Counseling is provided by the ESH or Emergency Department practitioner - information about the risk of the exposure, risk/benefit of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and follow-up plan
      • No risk of blood borne infection - PEP is not indicated
      • Source patient is HIV positive or unknown - begin PEP (ideally within 1 hour of exposure, but no later than 36 hours)
      • Source patient is HIV negative - PEP is not indicated
    • Follow-up testing is arranged by ESH
  5. Effects on Medical Student Learning Activities
  6. In the event of exposure, medical students should contact Student Health as soon as possible. If learning activities are interrupted, the Director of Student Health, upon verification and understanding of specific scenario, will contact the Dean of Student Affairs. The Dean will communicate and make arrangements with faculty regarding absence, make up of work, and future action plan.
  7. Financial Responsibility
  8. Students are responsible for any charges related to post-exposure evaluation, treatment and follow-up. These expenses are not covered by the Student Health fee or by Worker's Compensation, and should be submitted to the student's health insurance for payment.