CCMS Medicine Winter 2017 - 26

www.CHESTERCMS.org

Help! I Just Got
BY JILL BROOKS, MD, CHCO, 1ST HEALTHCARE COMPLIANCE

Obtain Exposure Source
status, if possible.

T

his is a phrase no one ever wants
to hear, especially in a healthcare
setting. When a distraught
employee comes to you with a needle
stick injury, what should you do as the
employer? First and foremost, remain
calm, which will alleviate some of the
overwhelming anxiety your employee is
already experiencing, and follow these
simple steps:
Treat The Exposure Site Immediately
Document Exposure Incident on
Exposure Incident Form
The form should include details of the
exposure incident such as type, route, and
location of exposure along with relevant
vaccination history of the employee and
any protective controls that are in place
(personal protective equipment or safer
needle devices).

Infectivity status of the source
individual should be determined
immediately, if possible. Don't wait until
an exposure incident occurs in your facility
to find out if consent is required by your
state laws to test the source individual.
If the source status is already known,
this might avoid unnecessary testing and
need for consent. Any relevant source
status data should be included on the
Exposure Incident form; however, the
exposed employee must be reminded of
the confidentiality of the source's protected
health information.

Obtain Immediate Medical
Treatment by a Licensed
Healthcare Provider (HCP)
Evaluation by a licensed HCP should
be provided at no cost to the employee
and without delay. The employer should
provide a letter to the HCP with a copy
of the Exposure Incident form and any
other relevant medical information.
Accompanying the letter should be a copy
of the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard
which outlines the requirement for
obtaining a written opinion from the HCP,
which must be provided to the employee
within 15 days.

26 C H E S T E R C O U N T Y M e d i c i n e | W I N T E R 2 0 1 7

Follow-up
Depending on the HCP's assessment of
the exposure, post -exposure prophylaxis
(PEP) may or may not be initiated.
It is the employer's responsibility to
provide the employee with the HCP's
written opinion within 15 days of the
evaluation. Additional follow-up should
include counseling for the employee
regarding: any possible ramifications
of the exposure; reporting any possible
exposure-related illnesses or symptoms
that may occur; and using any necessary
protections for prevention of exposure to
others. Appropriate OSHA Injury and
Illness forms should be completed by the
employer and submitted according to the
newly revised OSHA Recordkeeping and
Reporting Requirements.

What is the Risk from a
Needle Stick?
Risk of transmission of infection due
to a needle stick depends on many factors:
viral load, length of time of the exposure,
depth of the injury, use of a hollowbore needle, type of fluid, presence of
visible blood, and the type of bloodborne
pathogen involved. The most common
bloodborne pathogens are Hepatitis B
Virus (HBV), Human Immunodeficiency
Virus (HIV), and Hepatitis C Virus
(HCV). Fluids that are considered at risk
of transmission include blood or bloody
fluid and other potentially infectious
materials (OPIM) such as cerebrospinal,
synovial, pleural, peritoneal, pericardial or


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CCMS Medicine Winter 2017

CCMS Medicine Winter 2017 - 1
CCMS Medicine Winter 2017 - 2
CCMS Medicine Winter 2017 - 3
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