Being exposed to sharps (needles) or body fluids means that another person’s blood or other body fluid touches your body. Exposure may occur:
Exposure can put you at risk for infection.
After you have been exposed, wash the area with soap and water.
Report the exposure right away to your supervisor or the person in charge. Never decide on your own whether you need more care.
Your workplace will have a policy about what steps you should take after being exposed. Often, there is one nurse or another health care provider who is the expert on what to do.
You will need to report:
After exposure, there is a risk you may become infected with different germs. These may include:
Most of the time, the risk of becoming infected after exposure is low. But you need to report all exposures right away. Do not wait.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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