Needle Sticks, Sharps and

Bloodborne Pathogen Exposures

Sharps

If you are an employee who has had a bloodborne pathogen exposure (e.g., needle stick, sharp injury or splash) and would like to speak with someone for personal assistance:

  • During Business Hours (Monday - Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.): Call the Employee Health Clinic: 409-747-9172
  • After Hours, Weekends and Holidays: Call the Clinical Operations Administrator (COA) at 409-392-5491 (COA pager: 409-643-2801)
For self-service, please follow the instructions below. Should you have questions after receiving treatment, please contact Employee Health.
UTMB Employee Health Clinic

Primary Care Pavilion, Suite 125, 400 Harborside Dr., Galveston, TX 77555
409-747-9172   |  Fax: 409-747-9182   |  hr.utmb.edu/ehc

BUSINESS HOURS:  Monday - Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

1) If you are STUCK:

If you are stuck by a needle or other sharp or you get blood or other potentially infectious materials in your eyes, nose, mouth, or on broken skin:

  1. Wash needle sticks and cuts with soap and water.
  2. Flush splashes to the nose, mouth, or skin with water.
  3. Irrigate eyes with clean water, saline or sterile irrigant.


2) Report the incident immediately to your supervisor.


3) Your supervisor (or their delegate) should obtain source blood: (1) lavender tube and one (1) yellow-top tube with SOURCE labels on tubes.

  • Take the source sample with you to treatment for evaluation. Please be sure the source's samples are properly labeled with the source's identifers to prevent any delays in the lab!

4) Seek treatment within 4 hours:

(Treatment is still possible, even if delayed up to 72 hours after exposure)

If you are on the Galveston Campus:

  • During business hours, please report to the Employee Health Clinic (hours and location listed at the top of this webpage)
  • Request an “Employee Health Injury” registration.*

If you are on the League City or Angleton Danbury Campus:

  • Request an “Employee Health Injury” registration.*

Off-site clinics, report to a UTMB Emergency Department. If you are in a remote location, please refer to your agency-specific policyInformation should be posted in designated clinics to inform staff on the locations of kits and general processes for off campus employee exposures.

*An "Employee Health Registration" ensures charges will not be generated for your care.

  • Your blood will be drawn as a baseline.
  • An on-site Rapid HIV test will be conducted on the source sample.
  • The remainder of the samples will be sent to the Core Laboratory in the Clinical Services Wing (Galveston Campus) for confirmatory testing (HIV-1/HIV-2, HCV Antibody & HBs Antigen).

5) Results:

  • You will receive the HIV results of the source within approximately 30 minutes (if the test is performed in a UTMB ER).
    • Results may take up to 24 hours if test is performed in a non-UTMB Emergency Room.
  • If source is negative for HIV, no prophylaxis will be required.
  • If source is positive for HIV, the first dose of prophylaxis will be immediately administered to you.
    • The remainder of the prophylaxis prescription will be issued by the Employee Health Clinic or the ordering provider and should be filled at a UTMB pharmacy, when possible, to assure you receive the remainder of the prescription at no cost. (Additionally, most local pharmacies may not have the medication in stock. You must have a valid prescription signed by a physician, PA or nurse practitioner.
    • Click here to view Medication Schedule

6) Action Items:

Submit Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Notification and Management Form (PDF) to the Employee Health Clinic via email or fax. 

NOTE: The Employee Health Clinic must maintain separate and confidential medical records related to employee injuries. You have the right to access relevant exposure and medical records and to know how OSHA's standard covers you if you have been exposed to toxic substances or harmful physical agents.


7) Follow-up:

Employee Health clinicians will review the source patient and employee tests. They will provide counseling, prophylaxis, or vaccination as indicated, and instructions for any additional follow-up testing or assessment by a specialist.


8) Additional Contact Information:

Healthcare Epidemiology

Employee Health