Bloodborne Pathogens Policy

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In 1992, the Executive Faculty of the School of Medicine formally adopted a Medical Campus policy on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infections. This policy was updated in 2001 to include Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infections. The purpose of the policy is to provide guidelines to prevent or reduce the transmission of these infectious agents between patients and health care workers (HCWs). It is an ethical and moral obligation for the student/employees to report BBP infections.

The policy deals with 1) the University’s responsibilities to infected patients (including obligation to treat, confidentiality and appropriate serologic testing), 2) appropriate health and safety precautions and procedures for faculty, students and staff (including compliance with CDC guidelines, blood and body fluid precautions and handling of needles or sharp instruments), and 3) the University’s responsibilities to faculty, staff, or students who are infected with HIV, HBV, or HCV infection – including admission to medical school, participation in clinical rotations, serologic testing confidentiality and medical treatment.

The policy makes a distinction between Category I activities – those involving no risk of transmission from infected HCWs to patients, such as routine history/physical examinations, minor surface suturing, elective phlebotomy; and Category II – procedures for which bloodborne virus transmission is theoretically possible but unlikely such as minor local procedures, central venous lines, other specialty procedures; and Category III – procedures for which there is definite risk of bloodborne virus transmission such as General Surgery, CT surgery, Neurosurgery, etc. and non-elective procedures performed in the Emergency Department.

In 2012 a committee was formed including representation from Administration, Legal – Risk Management, Infectious Disease, Occupational Health, and the Director of Student Health. The SHS Director meets with the infected student and discusses the need for restricted activities and proper follow-up.