Bloodborne Pathogens Exposures
Bloodborne Pathogen Exposures
If you believe that you have had an exposure to blood or other body fluids and need an evaluation please call 852-6446 24 hours a day and a provider will assist you.
Once you believe that you have had an exposure, the exposed staff, resident or student should call 852-6446 for assistance by the health service provider. Once it has been determined that an exposure has occurred, the source patient should be counseled by the attending physician or designee, consent obtained, and appropriate laboratories obtained. The health service cannot order studies on source patients who are hospitalized or in other health care institutions. These studies should be ordered by one of the source patient's physicians.
In an effort to improve the delivery and follow up care of all UofL students, residents and staff who experience exposure to blood borne pathogens, Campus Health Services (CHS) is the designated site for the evaluation and treatment for blood borne pathogen exposures within the Health Sciences Center. CHS will provide all students, residents and staff with initial and follow up evaluations, risk determinations and treatment for blood borne pathogen exposures in conjunction with infectious disease specialists as warranted.
Occupational Exposures Background
Although preventing a blood exposure is, as the CDC has stated, the primary method of preventing occupationally acquired human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), given the task, responsibilities and often hurried provisions of care, it is anticipated that exposures will occur.
Because most occupational exposures to HIV, Hepatitis C or B do not result in infection transmission, potential toxicity related to the PEP must be considered. The average risk for HIV infection from all types of exposures to HIV-infected blood in 0.3% (approximately 1 in 250-300). This average however, combines the risk of all types of exposures meaning the 0.1% risk due to an exposure to a small volume of blood without the hollow bore vehicle to the larger risk associated with a high volume of percutaneous blood exposure with a large bore vehicle. Fortunately, the incidence of HIV has not been found to be prominent enough to warrant automatic PEP for all occupational exposures to blood.
As the Louisville area has a low incidence of HIV and all students, residents and staff are immunized against Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C has become a major concern when evaluating blood borne pathogen exposures. Many patients remain unaware that they are infected with Hepatitis C. Unfortunately, there are no recommendations regarding the treatment of Hepatitis C exposures. These opinions may change when additional information is obtained through the CDC programs or other data collection sources. If you have experienced a Hepatitis C exposure, please contact a health service provider for the most update information.