What should I do if I come into contact with body fluids?

If you happen to touch blood or body fluids it’s important to consider them, as infectious. When there is a case of a needlestick, let the affected area bleed naturally without squeezing it or using bleach. Wash the area with water and soap. What should I do if I come into contact with body fluids?

What should I do if I come into contact with body fluids?

If blood or body fluids splash on your skin with a wound, sore or scratch make sure to wash the area with soap and water. When splashed in the eyes, nose or mouth rinse well with water. In case of a bite clean the wound with soap and water.

In situations of assault seek help at the hospital emergency department for proper care and evidence collection. Quick reporting can aid in gathering evidence. For details on support services for sexual assault survivors.

After contact with blood or body fluids as mentioned above prompt treatment, like vaccines or medication may be necessary to prevent infection. Immediate assessment is essential following exposure.
What happens when you go to the emergency department?

You will need to provide consent, for HIV testing and other necessary tests based on your exposure history, such as hepatitis B virus (HBV) surface antigen (HBsAg) testing. Treatment decisions will be determined by these results;

Healthcare Providers – What should I do if I come into contact with body fluids?

Healthcare providers should assess whether a persons blood or body fluids could potentially transmit HIV, HBV or HCV.

In cases of suspected HIV exposure healthcare providers may begin medication without waiting for test results.
These medications should be taken promptly for results within 2 hours of contact. If needed your healthcare provider will guide you on continuing these medications for a month.

To safeguard against Hepatitis B you might receive a Hepatitis B vaccine and Hepatitis B immune globulin. The immune globulin contains antibodies that offer temporary defense against the hepatitis B virus. Meanwhile the hepatitis B vaccine provides lasting protection by stimulating your body to produce its antibodies, against the virus.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C infection. Blood tests can determine whether you have been exposed to hepatitis C or have contracted the virus.

In case of a cut or wound consideration may be given to administering the tetanus vaccine based on the nature of the injury and your vaccination history.

To assess if you have acquired an infection following this incident follow up blood tests are recommended at 3 and 6 weeks post exposure followed by another test at 3 months.