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Procedure Properties

Title: Needle-Stick/Blood and Body Fluids Exposure
Category: Support Services
Version: 02
Implement Date: 28 August 2006
Application: Custodial / Community Operations
Availability: Public


Appendices and Forms

Local procedures

  • Numinbah - Use of Syringes and Needles for Animal Husbandry Purposes (in-confidence)

Procedure - Needle-Stick/Blood and Body Fluids Exposure

4.Immediate care and treatment following exposure
5.Low security facilities
6.Pre-test counselling
7.Post-test counselling
8.Positive sources results


To provide an approved course of action to be taken by all persons who are exposed to blood or body fluids either through needle-stick injury or other means.

1. Process

This procedure aims to reduce needlestick, other sharps injuries and exposure to all persons within corrective services facilities.

2. Obligations

Corrective services facilities must -

  1. ensure the workplace is safe;
  2. provide adequate facilities and safe systems of work;
  3. provide personal protective equipment when control of hazards is not practicable by other means;
  4. provide information, instruction, training and supervision to enable work to be performed safely; and
  5. provide a system that will ensure incidents are recorded confidentially.

Corrective services staff must -

  1. follow the safe systems of work;
  2. follow advice as given by the employer;
  3. use protective equipment supplied; and
  4. report all injuries and exposures/dangerous incidents.

3. Confidentiality

Confidentiality will be maintained, for both the source and the person/s subjected to the injury exposure.

4. Immediate care and treatment following exposure

Immediately following exposure, persons should -

  1. encourage bleeding, wash the area with running water and soap (in areas without running water an alcohol hand wash minimum strength 60% is to be used);
  2. flush mouth and eyes, if contaminated, with a copious amount of water or saline solution for at least 30 seconds;
  3. remove clothing if contaminated, and shower if appropriate;
  4. dispose of needle/syringe, if involved, in the appropriate manner.
  5. refer to procedure - Needle and Syringe (Sharps) Control. Do not forward these items to the laboratory for testing;
  6. report to supervisor as soon as possible; and
  7. report incident to health centre staff.

Health centre staff will arrange for-

  1. workplace health and safety (WPH&S) forms to be completed;
  2. administrative form - Needle-Stick Injury/Blood and Body Fluids Exposure which must be completed;
  3. consent and collection of blood specimen from the source to be obtained and mark 'Urgent';
  4. notification to the infection control clinical nurse consultant at the managing hospital; and
  5. referral of the injured person immediately to the closest public hospital for:-

    1. pathology testing;
    2. assessment and counselling;
    3. vaccination if required; and
    4. follow up management.

Health centre staff will forward the source results to the infection control clinical nurse consultant at the managing hospital.

Refer to procedure - Incident Reporting.

5. Low security facilities

Staff in low security facilities without health services staff should follow all steps in section 4 of this procedure, excluding (f), and complete the necessary forms before presenting at the nearest public hospital for assessment and treatment.

Staff in low security facility with health services staff on duty shall follow all steps in section 4 of this procedure.

The source should also be encouraged to accompany the patient for the purposes of bleeding and testing.

A phone call to the emergency department at the hospital to which the patient is being referred will prevent delays in examination and treatment.

6. Pre-test counselling

Pre-test counselling for the source should include -

  1. risk assessment and reason for testing;
  2. information regarding confidentiality and privacy;
  3. explanation of testing process, including results and the window period and the difference between HIV/AIDS and other viruses;
  4. what happens to test results;
  5. explanation of informed consent; and
  6. information regarding interpretation of negative or positive results.

7. Post-test counselling

Post-test counselling for the source must be undertaken following medical assessment and will include-

  1. giving the test result in a manner that is sensitive and appropriate to gender, culture, behaviour and language; and
  2. reinforcing education related to safe behaviours.

8. Positive sources results

Where the source result is positive an appointment should immediately be arranged with the AIDS Medical Unit or the Sexual Health Clinic at the managing hospital.

F P Rockett

Version History

28/08/2006 Version 02 - 31/07/2002 Version 01