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Workplace Sharps Injuries and Bloodborne Pathogens

October 6, 2021

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Workplace Sharps Injuries and Bloodborne Pathogens

Workplace Sharps Injuries and Bloodborne Pathogens. Healthcare workers are at risk for bloodborne pathogens injuries from sharps. The most common diseases are hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. However, there are over 20 other bloodborne pathogens that put healthcare workers at risk.

The high-risk potential exposure incidents come in two forms, needle sticks in which a healthcare worker is injured from a sharp object. Or, from a mucous exposure incident, in which a healthcare worker is exposed by contact with a mucous membrane.

Not being in a rush, and properly wearing the appropriate PPE (personal protection equipment) for the task at hand is the most effective way to protect yourself.

All bloodborne pathogen diseases are dangerous and the top three HBV Hepatitis B, HCV Hepatitis C, and HIV human immunodeficiency virus can have life altering affects and even cause death.

When it comes to working with bloodborne pathogens with the risk of exposure, one cannot be too careful. In some cases, it may be an emergency, and things could be moving fast but take the time to protect yourself first so you can continue to provide healthcare related services for as long as you desire.

The below is from the CDC

What Should You Do in the Event of a Sharps Injury?

Immediately Provide Care to the Exposure Site.

Evaluate Exposure and Report.

Give post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for exposures posing risk of infection transmission

Post-exposure prophylaxis is a short course of medicines taken very soon after a possible exposure to bloodborne pathogens to prevent the virus from taking hold in your body.

You must start it ASAP. Every hour counts!




Perform follow-up testing and provide counseling

HBV exposures

HCV exposures

HIV exposures

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