UHS » UTHSC Employee Health

Injuries & Exposures

Occupational exposure to blood/body fluids and other potentially infectious materials should be reported immediately to University Health Services.

What is classified as an exposure to blood/body fluids?

An exposure occurs when there is a puncture, scratch, laceration, splash, prolonged skin contact or contact with broken skin involving blood, body fluids, or other potentially infectious materials.

What kinds of body fluids and materials are potentially infectious?

Body fluids of concern include: semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, and other body fluids visibly contaminated with blood. Any unfixed tissue or organ from a human is potentially infectious as are cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, and culture medium or other solutions from experimental animals infected with HIV or hepatitis B.

What should I do if I am exposed?

If you are exposed to someone's blood, body fluids or other potentially infectious materials -- DO NOT IGNORE THIS EXPOSURE!!

Here are the steps you should take:

  1. Take appropriate first aid measures (clean wound with soap and water; flush mucous membranes with water/saline for 15 minutes)
  2. Get the name, medical record number and location of exposure source
  3. Notify your supervisor/preceptor so he/she can complete the Tennessee First Report of Injury and mail it to Risk Management within 48 hours
  4. Report, in person, to University Health Services ® 910 Madison Ave, Suite 922.
  5. If exposure occurs after hours, call 901-448-5630 to get the provider on call. It is very important that you are seen at University Health Services if possible, to prevent any charges from other facilities.

What should I do if I am exposed to the blood or body fluid from an animal source?

Animal care workers are at risk for rabies, herpes B virus, Q-fever, and other zoonotic infections. All faculty/staff who are exposed should report to UHS.

NOTE: You will still need to come to UHS on the next business day to ensure proper documentation and follow-up if you are seen in the Emergency Department.

REMEMBER: Post exposure prophylaxis should be initiated as soon as possible if indicated (preferably within 1-2 hours after exposure but up to 24 hours after the exposure).

A. PROCESS FOR STUDENTS, EMPLOYEES, RESIDENTS:

Blood and Body Fluid Exposures

If you have had a blood and body fluid exposure, please follow the following instructions.

  1. You MUST report to University Health Services (UHS) after an exposure if it happens during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday).
  2. If the exposure happens after hours, on weekends or holidays, report to the facility’s Employee Health Office or Emergency  Department. If the exposure occurs at a hospital, go to the Emergency Department at that hospital. If it occurs on campus at times when UHS is closed, go to Methodist University or the Med.

    IF YOU ARE A UTHSC EMPLOYEE OR A RESIDENT: Notify your supervisor immediately and have them complete the State of Tennessee, Accident Report Form prior to being seen at UHS. This must be submitted to the Worker’s Compensation office in 910 Madison Ave, Suite 722. This form is essential for documentation of occurrence and determination of benefits through Worker’s Compensation.

    UTHSC STUDENTS: If you are unable to be seen at University Health Services for your initial visit, it is VERY important that the facility file all charges on your insurance. The UTHSC campus sponsored plan has this coverage. If you are on another insurance plan, other than Student United Insurance, you should verify that this coverage is in your policy.
    For students outside of the Memphis area, please report to the facility's Employee Health Office or Emergency Department. This facility will inform you of the follow-up process. It is very important that you contact University Health Services at 901-448-5630 to notify them of the exposure. Please contact University Health Services if you encounter any problems with the exposure and follow-up process.
    It is VERY important that the facility file all charges on your insurance. The UTHSC campus sponsored plan has this coverage. If you are on another insurance plan, other than Student United Insurance, you should verify that this coverage is in your policy. If you receive any bills for charges related to your exposure after the insurance claims have been filed, contact Christa Deiss at 901-448-5064. All efforts are made so that the student has no out pocket expense.

    BCHS STUDENTS: If you are unable to be seen at University Health Services for your initial visit, have the facility file all charges on your insurance. It is very important that these procedures are followed as you are responsible for any bills incurred from other agencies outside of UHS.

  3. All follow up care is to be scheduled at UHS.

It is very important that these procedures are followed as you are responsible for any bills incurred.

Questions?
Call (901) 448-5141 to reach Evelyn Lewis, RN - Occupational Health Coordinator

University Health Services
910 Madison Avenue, Suite 922
Memphis, TN 38163

Several resources are available that provide guidance to the healthcare provider regarding the management of occupational exposures. These resources include:

  • PEPline is run by UCSF and supported by multiple agencies. Phone: (888) 448-4911.
  • Answer to:  What are needlestick injuries ? What are the hazards of needlestick injuries ? How common are needlestick injuries ? Canadian Center for Occupational Safety
  • CDC for reporting occupationally acquired HIV infections and failures of PEP. Phone: (800) 893-0485
  • The HIV Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry Phone: (800) 258-4263 Internet:
  • FDA report unusual or severe toxicity to antiretroviral agents. Phone: (800) 332-1088 Internet:
  • HIV/AIDS treatment Information Services Internet:
  • Hepatitis Hotline phone: (888) 443-7232 Internet:
  • University of Tennessee Policies/Safety Policies>
    and Procedures for Faculty and Staff on the UTCHS campus to help with exposure procedures.
  • UT Centerscope--Student Handbook for Students on UTCHS Campus to help with exposure procedures.

Please contact Evelyn Lewis at 901-448-5141 if you have any questions or need any additional information.

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Crisis Information

Information about what to do in case of various emergencies.


Contact UHS

910 Madison Ave. Suite 922
Memphis, Tennessee 38163
Phone: 901-448-5630
Fax: 901-448-7255