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Dealing with a Sharps Injury

What to do if you have experienced a Needlestick Injury or Exposure to Blood Borne Virus...

Bleed It

Encourage bleeding of accidental puncture wound by gently squeezing

DO NOT MASSAGE OR SUCK THE AREA

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Wash It

Wash the affected area with soap and warm water and cover with a waterproof dressing.

Treat mucosal surfaces such as mouth or eyes by rinsing with copious amounts of warm water. Water used for rinsing the mouth must not be swallowed.

If contact lenses are used, eye irrigation should take place before and after removing the lens.

DO NOT SCRUB THE AREA

DO NOT USE BLEACH ON THE INJURY

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Attend local hospital Accident & Emergency

Attend Accident & Emergenct within an hour of exposure to high risk blood and body fluids

Ensure Accident & Emergency staff aware that needle stick injury is a high risk injury

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Report It

Complete an Accident Form

Management referral to Occupational Health

Attend Accident & Emergency to report incident/injury so that an infection/blood borne virus risk assessment can be carried out (if at all possible within 1 hour of exposure). The hospital can prescribe antibiotics/Hepatitis B vaccination/booster/immunoglobulin as required and can refer to local GUM Clinic if necessary for further assessment of HIV PEP treatment. PEP must be commenced within 72hrs of exposure to be effective.

Post exposure immunisation is effective in preventing infection.

Complete Accident report and request a referral to Occupational Health. Occupational Health will set up a follow up appointment to check the ongoing management of injury/incident and can make a forwarding referral to other services if necessary.

Working safely with needlesticks and sharps should be referred to for further information.