Skip to content

Other ways to search: Events Calendar | UTHSC News

Student Needlestick Exposures Injuries

Exposures to blood/body fluids and other potentially infectious materials should be reported immediately to your preceptor/supervisor.

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 so he/she can complete the Online Incident Report Form within 48 hours. 
  4. If possible, report, in person, to University Health Services ® 910 Madison Ave, Suite 922. 
  5. If the exposure happens after hours, on weekends or holidays, report to the facility’s Employee Health Office, an urgent care or the Emergency Department. If the exposure occurs at a hospital, go to the Emergency Department at that hospital. If it occurs on campus at times when UHS is closed, go to the nearest hospital or urgent care.


Follow up care can be scheduled at UHS.  The facility providing care will file all charges to your insurance. The UTHSC campus sponsored plan has coverage for injuries and exposures. 

For students outside of the Memphis area, please report to the outside facility’s Employee Health Office or Emergency Department. This facility will inform you of the follow-up process.  
If your exposure occurs while at Vanderbilt University and you are a pharmacy student, M3/M4 and PA student, report to Vanderbilt University Student Health Center.  

Please contact University Health Services at 901.448.5630 if you encounter any problems with the exposure and follow-up process.  

Care following exposures should be sought as soon as possible.

You are responsible for any bills incurred. 

Helpful Links

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

Oct 30, 2023