What is considered an exposure? There are two types of exposures that one can sustain. One is from a sharp injury with a bloody object. The other is from blood or infectious body fluid exposure to non intact skin, eyes or mucous membrane. Blood to intact skin is not a true exposure. See Infectious body fluids.

Blood/Body fluids exposure risk is low, even from an infectious patient. Your exposure will be reviewed at the time you contact the BBP surveillance nurse or she receives your exposure report form.

Infectious body fluids

Blood, fluids (cerebrospinal, pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, amniotic, synovial), seminal or vaginal secretions, or bloody fluids are considered infectious.


Feces, Urine, sweat, tears, vomit, sputum, saliva, GI feedings, trach or ventilator secretions are not considered infectious, unless these fluids are bloody. 

Needlesticks are a larger concern and have a higher risk of conversion if it is a “hollow” bore needle that has recently been in an artery or vein. Needles used for injection purposes for TB, Insulin, or Intramuscular are also low risk.

Here is the first thing you should do after sustaining an exposure:

First aid after sustaining any exposure: Cleanse skin immediately with antibacterial soap or Chlorhexidine. For eyes, rinse with water for at least 5 minutes. (see UCDHS Policy and Procedure # 2167).

Blood/Body Fluid Exposure (Needlesticks)Policy & Procedures (intranet)

Report exposure to the Bloodborne Surveillance Nurse located in Employee Health Services at (916) 734-7585.

Fill out specific report for sharps or blood/body fluid exposure on-line by clicking on the Employee Exposure (EE) icon on your desktop. If you were injured with a clean needle, please complete the Injury and Illness Worksheet pdf icon.

If the on-line exposure does not print out a lab slip for the source patient, call (916) 734-7585 and the lab slip can be downloaded and faxed to you. You may need to re-enter the exposure on a different computer.

For any positive HIV exposure during Employee Health Services clinic hours, page (916) 816-3081. After 4 p.m., weekends or Holidays have the hospital operator call the ID Fellow on call. They will go over the exposure with you.

Drug therapy for an HIV exposure is available 24 hours a day in the main hospital. If a three day course of drug therapy is started, please notify Employee Health Services at (916) 734-7585 that treatment was started and leave information regarding your exposure. This will ensure that further contact can be established with a follow up plan for you.

For an example to hepatitis C, please come to Employee Health Services on next operational clinic day, so you can be followed with serial lab draws. There are no recommendations by CDC for prophylaxis after a hepatitis C exposure.

All exposures are offered lab draws over six months. If your source patient, to whom you were exposed to, had a duel disease, i.e., HIV and hepatitis C, you will be followed for one year. 

For further information, please call the Bloodborne Pathogen Surveillance Nurse at (916) 734-7585.

Pre-hospital bloodborne pathogen exposures

Do not report any exposures on-line for this group. On line reporting is for employees only.

Exposure forms are to be filled out for particular groups, i.e. paramedics, fire fighters, police and bystanders. These reports are to be sent to prehospital coordinator.

The drop off box is located in the ED.

Sharps Safety Exception Letter

The Sharps Safety Exception Letter is used when requesting an exception to the use of a safety sharp product and is used when requesting a non-safety needle. Please contact the Purchasing Department.