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Needlestick Exposures and Injuries

Occupational exposure to blood/body fluids and other potentially infectious materials should be reported immediately to Corvel. Please note: Employees include residents. 

What is classified as an exposure to blood/body fluids?
An exposure occurs when there is a puncture, scratch, laceration, splash, prolonged skin contact or contact with broken skin involving blood, body fluids, or other potentially infectious materials.
What kinds of body fluids and materials are potentially infectious?
Body fluids of concern include: semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, and other body fluids visibly contaminated with blood. Any unfixed tissue or organ from a human is potentially infectious as are cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, and culture medium or other solutions from experimental animals infected with HIV or hepatitis B.
What should I do if I am exposed?

If you are exposed to someone's blood, body fluids or other potentially infectious materials -- DO NOT IGNORE THIS EXPOSURE!!

Here are the steps you should take:

  1. Take appropriate first aid measures (clean wound with soap and water; flush mucous membranes with water/saline for 15 minutes)
  2. Get the name, medical record number and location of exposure source
  3. Notify your supervisor/preceptor. After calling triage nurse, employee should complete and sign the forms on the UTHSC Workers Compensation site
  4. Report the incident to Corvel by contacting the Corvel triage nurse (option#1) at 1.866.245.8588 to be directed for medical care if necessary.
  5. Report to the Corvel approved location* to receive care. University Health Services ® 910 Madison Ave, Suite 922 is a Corvel approved site. Please be sure to inform Corvel you desire to receive treatment at UHS. If approved, please report, in person, to University Health Services.
  6. If you have any questions call the on call provider at 901.541.5654. *If you do not follow these procedures, you are responsible for any bills incurred.
What should I do if I am exposed to the blood or body fluid from an animal source?

Animal care workers are at risk for rabies, herpes B virus, Q-fever, and other zoonotic infections. All faculty/staff who are exposed should contact Corvel at 1.866.245.8588.  

NOTE: You may need follow up care at UHS on the next business day. Please follow the instructions provided by the Corvel approved facility providing care.

REMEMBER: Post exposure prophylaxis should be initiated as soon as possible if indicated.

More information regarding Worker’s Compensation and Corvel, can be found at the link below:

** Workers compensation is for employees and residents only. Students should click this link for instructions.

It is very important that these procedures are followed as you are responsible for any bills incurred.

Questions? Call 901.448.5141 to reach Evelyn Wright-Lewis, RN - Occupational Health Coordinator, University Health Services, 910 Madison Avenue, Suite 981, Memphis, TN 38163.

Helpful Links

Several resources are available that provide guidance to the healthcare provider regarding the management of occupational exposures. These resources include:

May 12, 2023