University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

Instructions for Bloodborne Pathogen Exposures

Instructions for Bloodborne Pathogen Exposures 

The Office of Occupational Health and Safety has laminated badge-sized cards printed with these procedures available. Please contact to request the cards. You can also download a poster version (8.5 X 11) that can be printed, posted, and distributed in your department:

Employee version
Student version

IMPORTANT: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that the exposed person seek treatment within 1-2 hours after initial exposure.

Note: If you are a resident/fellow, it is your responsibility to learn facility-specific exposure protocols when you begin your rotation. Please see employee health at your facility to learn procedures.

1. Clean it.

Wash the exposed area immediately.

  • Wash needlesticks and cuts with soap and water
  • Flush splashes to the nose, mouth, or skin with water
  • Irrigate eyes with clean water, saline, or sterile irrigants

2. Get treated.

Seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

University employees should go to the nearest HealthPartners Urgent Care location or Emergency Department.

If you are a medical resident/fellow, initial care should occur at your training site, either through the Employee Health Service or the Emergency Department. If the exposure occurs when these facilities are not open, go to the nearest HealthPartners Urgent Care location or Emergency Department.

If you are unsure of where to receive treatment, call the 24-hour HealthPartners CareLine at 612-339-3663 or 800-551-0859 (TTY 952-883-5474). The Triage Nurse will direct you to the appropriate location for care.

If you are a medical student, call Boynton's 24-hour Medical Information Nurse Line at (612) 625-7900 for assistance. Go to Boynton Health Service or the nearest medical facility for treatment.

The initial evaluation should include:

  • Documentation of the route(s) of exposure and the circumstances under which the exposure incident occurred.
  • Identification and testing of the source patient’s blood and evaluation of risk factors.
  • Collection and testing of your blood and evaluation of risk factors.
  • Post-exposure prophylaxis when medically indicated.
  • Evaluation of reported illnesses.
  • Counseling.

3. Identify the source patient.

Identify the source patient with the help of your preceptor and/or the designated representative of the facility. The source patient’s blood should be tested after consent is obtained according to your treatment site practices. If the source patient has a known history of HBV, HCV, or HIV, it is unnecessary to test for the specific disease. Results of the source patient’s testing will be made available to you to the extent possible under the laws and regulations concerning disclosure of the identity and infection status of the source patient.

If it is not possible to identify the source patient or obtain a blood sample, the institution’s standard procedures should be used to assess the level of risk to you and then provide treatment accordingly.

4. Report it.

Employees must complete the electronic University of Minnesota First Report of Injury (E-FROI) online within 8 business hours after injury in order to ensure appropriate follow-up and to be eligible for Workers Compensation coverage.

For additional information on reporting Workers Compensation Related Injuries please see:

Students are not eligible for Workers Compensation. Students should submit any bills for post-exposure care to their insurance plan, and contact the Office of Occupational Health and Safety at for assistance with costs not covered by insurance.

Students must report exposures to their preceptors and to Boynton Health Service at (612) 625-7900.

5. Get a follow-up exam.

After you complete the E-FROI, you will be contacted for post-exposure care within 3 business days by HealthPartners Occupational and Environmental Medicine (HPOEM).

If you are a student, make an appointment for a follow-up assessment at Boynton Health Service within 72 hours of the exposure.



All medical records shall be kept confidential and will not be disclosed to any person within or outside the workplace without the exposed person’s express written consent except as may be required by law. Records shall be maintained for the duration of employment plus 30 years. If a resident, fellow, or medical student is infected with HCV, HBV, or HIV, he/she must report this infection to the Medical School’s Bloodborne Infectious Disease Review Panel by contacting the University of Minnesota Office of Occupational Health and Safety at or 612-626-5008. This reporting is required by Minnesota law.

If the exposure occurred as a result of contact with a contaminated sharp, the injury must be reported to the Office of Occupational Health and Safety at or the address below. The log will protect the confidentiality of the injured employee but will contain the following information:

  1. the type and brand of device involved in the incident;
  2. the department or work area where the exposure incident occurred; and
  3. explanation of how the incident occurred.


University of Minnesota Office of Occupational Health and Safety

McNamara Alumni Center
Suite 185
200 Oak St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: 612-626-5008
Confidential Fax: 612-626-9643