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In a research environment, staff or students may be required to work with human blood and/or bodily fluids. In these situations, it is important to ensure the safe handling of blood and bodily fluids. Appropriate management of bio hazardous substances must be in place to minimise risk to staff and students.

Find out more about biological safety

Actions required by employee/student

  1. If skin is splashed or penetrated, wash the area well with soap and water
  2. If the eyes are contaminated, rinse the eyes using the emergency eye wash facility
  3. If there is a splash into the mouth spit it out and rinse thoroughly
  4. Contact your supervisor or manager immediately
  5. Document the date and time of exposure, how the incident occurred and the name of the source if known

Actions required by manager/supervisor

  1. Ensure area has been washed.
  2. Arrange for blood to be taken from the individual as soon as possible. The screening must include HIV, HBV, and HCV. Contact one of the following:
  • Emergency Department, Dunedin Public Hospital (474 0999) for staff members. Inform of the nature of the incident.
  • Student Health (479 8212) for students during working hours and Dunedin Public Hospital Emergency Dept after hours. Inform of the nature of the incident
  • Contact Infection Control or the Microbiologist on call at Christchurch Hospital (364 3640)
  • Ring the Occupational Health Nurse (479 6331), pager 6331, or After Hours Manager if outside normal working hours (385 5999)
  1. If the source is known, contact and arrange for blood samples to be taken.
  2. Clean up any spill and disinfect the area and/or objects.
  3. Provide support for the employee involved, and advise of the EAP scheme if appropriate.
  4. Report the incident through Vault.

Immediate assessment

It is important that the individual is medically assessed immediately so that treatment can be commenced if deemed necessary. Arrange follow-up with the emergency contacts provided.

Issues for the medical services to consider include:

  • Action will depend on the status of the individual and the status of the source
  • Is there a need for immediate antiretroviral treatment?
  • Is there a need for hepatitis B immunoglobulin?
  • Is there a need for hepatitis B vaccination?
  • Has follow-up been arranged?
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