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Blood or body fluid exposure occurs when potentially infected fluids come into contact with non-intact skin, mucous membranes, or skin that has been penetrated by a sharp object. Healthcare team members, including students, are most commonly exposed to blood and bodily fluids through needlestick injuries and cuts in clinical settings. Prevention is crucial for reducing the risk of infectious exposures.

Please see the CMSRU Infectious and Environmental Hazards, Needlesticks, and Bloodborne Pathogens Exposures Protocol below in the event of an exposure.

Standard Precautions

  1.   Consider blood, body fluids, and tissue from ALL PATIENTS to be potentially infectious.
  2.   Perform hand hygiene before/after all patient contacts.
  3.   Wear gloves when exposure to blood and body fluids may occur, e.g., during phlebotomy. Change your gloves and perform hand hygiene after each procedure and before contact with another patient.
  4.   Wear a gown, mask, and goggles when blood or body fluids splashes may occur. (e.g. during surgery, placing nasogastric tubes, etc.
  5.   Report immediately all incidents of blood and body fluid exposure types.

Immediate Response-Time Matters!

  1. Clean wounds or punctures with soap and water.
  2. Flush mucous membranes or skin copiously with water or saline.
  3. DO NOT “force bleed” the wound.
  4. DO NOT apply caustics (e.g. bleach, organic solvents, hard surface disinfectants, etc.).
  5. When HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is indicated, early treatment (within hours) is recommended.
  6. Proceed Directly to Concentra Occupational Health Services or the Cooper University Health Care Emergency Department (CUHC ED) if after Concentra business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 AM-5 PM. Please proceed directly to Concentra Occupational Health Services (856-338-0350), 300 Broadway, Suite #101, Camden, NJ. (adjacent to CUHC parking garage)

After First Aid

  1. Notify the staff and supervising resident and/or attending physician and the Office of Student Affairs at
  2. Carefully note the type of exposure, type of fluid/tissue involved, and appropriate information about the source patient (risk factors, lab data).  
  3. Blood tests will be performed as appropriate.
  4. Concentra will provide a schedule for follow-up counseling and treatment, as necessary.
  5. All initial costs of laboratory tests for properly reported occupational exposures or injuries are covered by CUHC.
  6. Treatment required post-exposure or for a clinical condition that develops as a result of the exposure or injury should be covered by the student’s health insurance policy.
  7. If a student is unsure whether they should participate in patient care, the student should contact the Student Health Center (856-968-8695) or their treating PCP or specialist.