Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP)

BBP Policy and Procedures

As an athletic trainer, you may be at risk and exposure to bloodborne pathogens, including hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

An exposure incident is defined as follows:

  • Skin pierced, cut, or scratched by a sharp object contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious body fluid
  • Spills or splashes of blood or other potentially infectious material onto non-intact skin (cuts, hangnails, abrasions, chapped skin) or any mucous membrane

Most exposures do not result in an infection and the risk of infection may vary with such factors as:

  • Pathogen involved
  • Type of exposure
  • Amount of blood involved in the exposure
  • Amount of virus in the patient’s blood at the time of exposure

If an exposure occurs:

When an exposure occurs, stop immediately with the procedure you are involved with and:

  • Wash needle sticks and cuts with soap and water
  • Flush splashes to the nose, mouth, or skin with water
  • If eyes are exposed to blood or contaminated body fluids, flush with water or saline for 15 minutes and notify the supervising athletic trainer

All WVU employees and students must immediately report the incident to Employee Health, 2B04 (second floor), Ruby Memorial Hospital,  (304) 598-4160.

All athletic trainers (staff, faculty, and students) are encouraged to participate in the Hepatitis B vaccine series that is provide by WVU. Please refer to the athletic training student handbook for additional information on the HBV vaccine.

Weekday exposure

Between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., all WVU employees and students who have or may have been exposed to needle-sticks or other incidents involving blood or body fluid, must immediately report the incident to Employee Health, 2B04, Ruby Memorial Hospital.

If another person (the source person) is involved in the exposure incident, this individual must be evaluated and strongly encouraged to proceed immediately to the third floor of the Physicians Office Center (POC) for the appropriate laboratory tests.

After hours exposure

After 4:45 p.m. or during weekends and holidays, students or WVU employees must go immediately to the emergency Room/Trauma Center of WVU Hospital for medical evaluation.

If another person (the source person) is involved in the exposure incident, this individual must also go immediately to the Emergency Room/Trauma Center of Ruby Memorial Hospital for medical evaluation. If the source person is an in-patient, appropriate testing will be done, as per the needle-stick protocol at Ruby.

Universal precautions

Universal precautions are an approach to infection control. According to the concept of Universal precautions, all human blood and certain human body fluids are treated as if known to be infection for HIV, HBV, and other bloodborne pathogens [1]. To prevent an exposure to infection, adhere to the following guidelines [2].

  • Avoid contact with blood and other bodily fluids
  • Use breathing barriers such as resuscitation masks, face shields, and bag valve masks (BVM) when giving rescue breaths to a victim
  • Wear disposable gloves when providing care, particularly if you may come into contact with blood or bodily fluids
  • Use gloves that are appropriate to the task and provide an adequate barrier
  • Remove jewelry, including rings, before wearing disposable gloves
  • Keep any cuts, crapes or sores covered before putting on protective clothing
  • Do not use disposable gloves that are discolored, torn or punctured
  • Do not clean or reuse disposable gloves
  • Avoid handling items such as pens, combs, or radios when wearing soiled gloves
  • Change gloves before giving care to a different victim
  • In addition to gloves, wear protective coverings, such as a mask, eyewear, and gown, whenever you are likely to come into contact with blood or other body fluids that may splash
  • Do not wear gloves and other personal protective equipment away from the workplace
  • Remove disposable gloves without contacting the soiled part of the gloves and dispose of them in a proper container

All athletic training students are required to annually participate in a blood borne pathogens (BBP) in-service!