Blood and Body Fluid Exposures: Response Procedures
Blood and body fluids may contain pathogens such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
What Is Considered to Be an Exposure?
- a needle stick or cut from a sharp object
- blood and/or body fluid contact with broken skin (open cut, wound, rash)
- blood and/or body fluid contact with eyes, nose or mouth
What to Do If There Is an Exposure
- Wear single-use gloves prior to handling or dressing a client’s wound.
- Wash the exposed skin surface with water and soap. If the area is bleeding, allow it to bleed freely. After cleaning the wound, apply a skin antiseptic and cover with a clean dressing or bandage.
- If there has been a splash onto a mucous membrane (eyes, nose, mouth) flush the area thoroughly with water.
- The person exposed must immediately contact a physician.
- Document all incidents and keep records on site for one year and on file for 5 years.
What Information Needs to Be Documented When There Has Been an Exposure?
- full name (first and last), mailing address and phone number of the person exposed
- full name of PSW (first and last) involved in the incident
- date of injury/exposure
- details of the exposure including where on the body the injury/exposure occurred and how the injury/exposure occurred
- action taken
Important Related Information About Blood and Body Fluid Exposures
Print Versions Available Upon Request in the Following Languages
For a copy of this document in the following languages, please email us at BodySafe@toronto.ca
- 中文 / Chinese
- 한국어 / Korean
- Tiếng Việt / Vietnamese