BBV / Needle Stick Injury Advice

We can give advice on the risks, prevention, first aid and management of needlestick/bites/scratches and splash injuries.

All cases will be treated individually by a trained nurse, a risk assessment undertaken and appropriate action taken

Should you sustain one of the above:

- Apply first aid measures to affected site

- Report to your manager and complete a web incident for

- Report to Occupational Health as below

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH – 0151 471 2451

OPENING HOURS MONDAY TO FRIDAY 08.30-16.30.

CONTACT YOUR NEAREST A&E DEPARTMENT IMMEDIATELY OUTSIDE OF THE ABOVE HOURS AND REPORT TO OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY SO THAT APPROPRIATE FOLLOW UP ACTION CAN BE TAKEN.

What are blood borne Viruses?

This is the term used for a group of viruses which are transmitted through blood and body fluids.

These include Hepatitis, B, C and HIV.

Hepatitis B

This affects the liver and may cause some of the following symptoms.

YELLOW JAUNDICE – DARK URINE

TIREDNESS – LOSS OF APPETITE

ABDOMINAL DISCOMFORT

 The effects may vary in severity and can take months to appear. Sufferers can become carriers, who are unaware they have the disease.

 Hepatitis C

Like Hepatitis B, this virus causes liver disease which may lead to chronic illness years later.

 HIV

This virus can lead to AIDS as it attacks the immune system making sufferers prone to infection. The development of AIDS can occur many years after the initial infection.

How they are transmitted

They are spread mainly through contact with blood of an infected person, and this may include sexual contact.

 At work exposure to blood borne viruses is most likely to occur as a result of a sharps injury e.g. finger prick from a used needle, blood splashes into open wounds or eyes, or mouth or from a bite or scratch.

Treatment

Unfortunately, once you have caught a blood borne virus, there is no treatment that is guaranteed to work. It is therefore important to protect yourself.

 Vaccination

Vaccination against Hepatitis B is available and is effective in approximately 95% of cases. Side affects are uncommon but you may get a sore arm.

This vaccination will also protect against Hepatitis D because of the link between them.

There is NO vaccination against Hepatitis C or HIV.

How to protect yourself at work

Cover any exposed wounds with a waterproof plaster or dressing.

Take care when handling blood and body fluids and use gloves appropriately.

Dispose of sharps e.g. needles in a designated sharps disposal container.

Contact Occupational Health Department for vaccination against Hepatitis B.

Deal with spillages e.g. spilt blood according to Infection Control guidelines.

What you should do if you are exposed to blood or body fluids

First Aid

Following an injury involving a sharp object, (needle, teeth, finger nails) potentially contaminated with blood, bleeding should be encouraged and the wound should be washed with soap and water before applying a dressing.

Where mucus membranes (eyes, mouth) are exposed to blood or body fluid splash they should be washed with water.

Vaccinated staff who are immune to Hepatitis B 

If it is over 12 months since you have had a vaccination for Hepatitis B, you may be offered a booster.

Unvaccinated or vaccinated staff who have no immunity to Hepatitis B

Where appropriate, will be offered Hepatitis B vaccination and/or offered Hepatitis B Immunoglobulin within 72 hours of the accident.

Details of the Source/Patient

If possible please bring any known details and BBV status of the source patient to assist occupational health in risk assessing your injury. Do not approach the patient yourself as there is a procedure to be followed.

 Where source patient consent is not obtainable, individual staff will be offered appropriate follow-up screening.