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Here are the steps you should take when exposed to human blood/body fluids

  1. First aid – Allow puncture sites to bleed. Clean wounds with soap and water. Do not use caustic substances such as bleach to clean the wound. Flush eyes, nose or mouth with water for 15 minutes.
  2. Identify the source of the exposure – Get the name and medical record number of the person who is the source of your exposure. Occupational Health will also need the brand and gauge size of the instrument involved in the injury.
  3. Obtain medical care – Medication to prevent HIV infection is best if started during the first 1-2 hours after exposure but may be started up to 24 hours after the exposure. Occasionally medication can be started later, but it is less effective after 24 hours.
    • Go to the main Occupational Health Clinic on the 6th floor of the Medical Arts Building. (Note, Express Care on the first floor is not equipped to handle these injuries.) If off campus, call OHC at 615-936-0955 for instructions
    • After 5:30 pm until 7:30 am, weekends, or holidays go to the Adult Emergency Room

Report the exposure/injury to your supervisor and the Vanderbilt Office of Risk and Insurance Management by completing the Tennessee First Report of Injury form.

For detailed instructions, please call the Exposure Advisor at 615-875-STIK (7845). An on call provider can also be reached 24 hours a day/7 days a week at 615-936-0955.

After you receive care

If you are seen in the Emergency Department, contact Occupational Health on the next business day to ensure proper documentation and follow-up.

How to order labs for the source patient

  • For inpatient source patients: please search the word "exposure", "source", or "Blood" in the order/order set field. You should see and select the "Source Blood/Body Fluid Exposure Panel".  The ordering provider will be the patient's attending provider. 
  • For outpatient source patients: please order the following labs from the Facility List: 
    • "Rapid HIV BBF Exposure" 
    • "PCR Hepatitis C Virus Qt"
    • "Hepatitis B Surface Ag"

The ordering provider will be the provider the patient was seeing in the outpatient clinic at the time of the exposure. 

Please call the Occupational Health Clinic  (615-936-0955) with any questions on ordering source patient labs.