Today is Thursday, Sep. 20, 2018

Department of

University Health Services

Emergency Needlestick/Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure

Accidental needlesticks and/or body fluid exposure can happen, but it's extremely important that you follow the protocols below and report the incident.

After Needlestick or Body Fluid Exposure

IF indicated, HIV prophylaxis should be started within TWO hours.
  • Cleanse wound with soap and water and irrigate area with saline.  For eyes, irrigate with water, saline, or sterile irrigants.
  • Arrange for source patient blood tests to be ordered by the provider responsible for the source patient's care (see below).
  • Receive care from your medical provider or the nearest emergency department that accepts your insurance.

Reporting Instructions for Students

If you have UC Student Health Insurance (or are a UCCOM medical student with BBP insurance), please report your incident according to the schedule below:
  • Monday - Friday
    University Health Services (UHS), from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling 513-584-4457 or visiting the UHS  Holmes Location (Medical Campus). It is best to call first to ensure the office is open.
  • Nights, Weekends, and University Holidays/Closures
    University of Cincinnati Medical Center or your nearest emergency department. If you need advice call 513-584-STIX. Follow up with University Health Services the next workday at 513-584-STIX or 513-584-4457.
  • Away From Cincinnati 
    Go to any hospital emergency room where you can get immediate care.  If you need advice, call UHS (513-584-4457) or the University of Cincinnati Medical Center operator (513-584-7777 or 513-584-PAGE) and page the UHS provider on call. Report your exposure to UHS at 513-584-STIX or 513-584-4457.   


Student Health Insurance / Billing

  • Go to the UC Student Health Insurance Policy Benefits and Supplemental Policies page for more information.
  • SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE to access the HealthSmart - Bloodborne Pathogen Claim Form
  • For billing purposes, provide HealthSmart’s address (located at bottom of Claim Form) to any providers from whom you received treatment for the exposure.
  • Submit the BBP Claim Form immediately.  If you later receive a bill for services rendered, email it to STUDINS@UCMAIL.UC.EDU  who will process it through your BBP Insurance to pay for the covered services received within 30 days of your exposure. 

If you do not have UC Student Health Insurance

Contact your insurance company for instructions or go to the nearest emergency department that takes your insurance. You may receive care at UHS. You will be billed for your care. 

Source Patient Lab Work

Collect 3 serum separator tubes and label with source name, medical record number, date, and time collected:

  • Rapid HIV antigen
  • Hepatitis B Surface antigen (HBsAg)
  • Anti-Hepatitis B core IgM (HBcIgM)
  • Hepatits C antibody  (HCVab)

Required Recipient Lab Work

  • HIV antibody
  • Hepatitis B Surface antigen (HBsAg)
  • Hepatitis B Surface antibody (HBsAb)
  • Hepatitis B Core antibody (HBcAb)
  • Hepatitis C antibody (HCVab)
  • Chem Profile (which includes liver enzymes)
  • CBC (if prophylaxis given)


Note: Call University Health Services at 513-584-4457 or have the University of Cincinnati Medical Center operator (513-584-7777 or 513-584-PAGE) page the UHS provider on call for any questions regarding appropriate medical care. You will need to follow the protocol of the site at which you are rotating regarding documentation, obtaining source blood, etc.