Bloodborne Pathogen Exposures

For exposures, call 502-852-6446


Immediately following an exposure to blood or other body fluids, call 502-852-6446, 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week and a provider will assist you. 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 ordered. 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 bloodborne pathogens, Campus Health Services (CHS) is the designated site for the evaluation and treatment for bloodborne 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 bloodborne pathogen exposures in conjunction with infectious disease specialists if warranted.

Occupational Exposures Background

The primary method of preventing any occupationally acquired infection is through prevention. However, given the responsibilities and often hurried provisions of health care, it is anticipated that exposures will occur.

Most occupational exposures to HIV do not result in infection transmission, therefore potential toxicity related to the Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) must be considered. The average risk for HIV infection from alltypes of exposures to HIV-infected blood is 0.3% (approximately 1 in 250-300). This average 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.

Hepatitis C has become a major concern when evaluating blood borne pathogen exposures because the Louisville area has a low incidence of HIV and because all students, residents and staff are immunized against Hepatitis B. Many patients are unaware that they are infected with Hepatitis C and unfortunately, there are no recommendations regarding the treatment of Hepatitis C exposures. This may change when additional information is obtained through the CDC programs or other data collection sources.

For any exposure, call 502-852-6446