Needle Stick / Blood and Body Fluid Exposure Protocol


Percutaneous (needlesticks/sharp objects) Injury (where there is the slightest suggestion that the integrity of skin has been broken by a potentially contaminated item)

  1. Wash wound thoroughly with a sudsy soap and running water; if water is not available use alcohol. (this first step with soap directly reduces the virus's ability to infect)
  2. Remove any foreign materials embedded in the wound.
  3. If not allergic, disinfect with Betadine solution.

Non-intact Skin Exposure

  1. Wash skin thoroughly as in #1 above.
  2. If not allergic, disinfect with Betadine solution.

There is no evidence that squeezing the wound or applying topical antiseptics further reduces the risk of viral transmission.

Mucous Membrane Exposure

Irrigate copiously with tap water, sterile saline or sterile water.

Intact Skin Exposure

Exposure of intact skin to potentially contaminated material is not considered an exposure at any significant risk and is neither considered an exposed person or in need of evaluation. Thoroughly clean and wash exposed intact skin.


  1. Report the exposure to a supervisor (faculty or resident preceptor or other responsible person)
  2. During regular business hours, report to Marshall University Division of Occupational Health & Wellness located in the Family Medicine Dept. If exposure occurs after hours or off site, report this to your immediate supervisor and go the nearest Emergency Department and follow their school/hospital-specific policy.
  3. After treatment in the Emergency Department, call MU Division of Occupational Health & Wellness at 304-691-1187 to report your incident and coordinate any follow-up care needed


  • Remind others (while you seek immediate medical attention) to obtain consent and test source individual’s blood (requesting a rapid HIV antibody test) immediately or ASAP if the patient is not on premises. If the source individual is known to be infected with either HIV, HBV or HCV, testing need not be repeated to determine the known infectivity.
  • Identify and document the source individual, unless the employer can establish that identification is infeasible or prohibited by state or local law.

For more detail, view our Post Exposure Protocol Policy


The Office of Student Affairs encourages students to become aware of the Blood and Body Fluids Exposure Protocol so that an appropriate course of action can be followed in the event of an exposure. Please do not let a concern over expenses result in a lack of health care. With appropriate documentation, the Office of Student Affairs will reimburse any enrolled student up to $10,000 for costs related to an exposure.  Students must provide a copy of their Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from the health insurance AND a copy of the bill from the site at which you had services such as lab work to Ms. Laura Christopher in the Office of Student Affairs at the Byrd Clinical Center. Submit this documentation for payment or reimbursement as soon as possible after the event. Direct any questions to Amy Smith at 304-691-8684 or by email at