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Injuries and 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, go to the nearest ED.* 
  6. If you have any questions call the on call provider at 901.541.5654.
    *You are responsible for any bills incurred.
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).

If I am a student, do I file a workers compensation claim?

No. Please follow the directions above under “What should I do if I am exposed?”


For employees and residents

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 the Emergency Department at Methodist University Hospital, or Regional OneHealth Medical Center.
  3. All follow up care is to be scheduled at UHS.

Residents and employees: 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. Please contact CorVel Corporation at 1.866.245.8588 to report your injury and receive a worker’s compensation claim number prior to arriving at UHS.

** Workers compensation is for employees and residents only. Students should follow the steps above under “What should I do if I am exposed?”

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 Wright-Lewis, RN - Occupational Health Coordinator, University Health Services, 910 Madison Avenue, Suite 981, Memphis, TN 38163.

Helpful Links

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

Last Published: Mar 12, 2021