Effective Date: 
Wed, 12/01/2004
Sat, 07/31/2021
Sat, 07/31/2021


Injured Employee

In the event of a staff sharps injury, or splash or spill onto a staff member, the injured employee is referred to UCSC's current occupational medicine provider for care. The assigned occupational medicine provider is the Workers’ Compensation health care provider for the University of California Santa Cruz and provides competent care for injuries while being able to protect patient (staff) confidentiality. Injured employee immediately follows these steps:

  • Wash needle sticks 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
  • Then report injury to supervisor

Paperwork is initiated for Supervisor’s First Injury Report and arrangements made for referral to the UCSC occupational medicine provider. A packet titled "Bloodborne Pathogen (BBP) Exposure Plan and Checklist" (HC 1051) with all required forms, links and detailed instructions can be found in the EMR/ Point and Click/References sections: Admin - Staff and Infrequent P&Ps and linked to this policy. 

A confidential Incident Report is completed by the supervisor via the RL Datix system, which is then reviewed by the Student Health Center Medical Director.  Sharps injuries are also documented in a Sharps Injury Log which explains how the injury occurred so that further evaluation may be done as to subsequent prevention of similar injury. This form should be completed in a timely manner by employee and supervisor. Supervisor forwards this to the chair of Infection Control Committee who reviews and adds to Sharps Injury Log.  The Sharps Injury Log is kept securely in the Medical Records department. This log is reviewed annually by the Infection Control Chair who presents a report to Quality Management Committee.

Source Patient

When a needlestick or other sharps injury occurs, immediate intervention is necessary to identify the source patient. 

Known source patient:   

Patient is interviewed by a Student Health Center clinician to elicit past medical history and potential risk factors for blood borne pathogens. Source patient is encouraged to have a battery of blood tests and the lab work requested on source patient is not charged to the patient. Source patient is tested for HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis A, B, and C and other tests may be ordered at clinician discretion. Source patient is notified of their lab results by the Student Health Center clinician and subsequent testing may be requested if patient history so dictates.  The Occupational Healthcare Provider is notified of the source patient's de-identified lab results. The source patient's name is not released to Occupational Health or Risk Services.   No reference to employee exposure will be noted in the source patient's medical record. 

Unknown source patient or source patient does not consent for testing:

Occupational Healthcare provider should evaluate the likelihood of high risk exposure, including consideration of bloodborne pathogen infection among patients in the exposure setting such as Community rates of HIV, HBV, HCV and counsel/treat the employee accordingly.