HSIP: Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure

Needlestick and Sharps Injuries

This page has information about what to do, where to go, and how to ensure timely payment for services after exposure to a blood-borne pathogen or a needlestick/sharps injury.  Click any of the following links to get more information about that topic.

Table of Contents:

What You Should Do after Exposure to a Blood-borne Pathogen or a Needlestick/Sharps Injury

  1. Immediate first aid:
    1. Remove all soiled clothing.
    2. Wash needlesticks and cuts with soap and water for 15 minutes and/or flush mucous membranes/irrigate eyes with water for 15 minutes.
  2. Notify supervising staff member.
  3. If you are at a UW site, go to the nearest UW Employee Clinic for counseling, testing, and or/prophylaxis. (Locations are at the UW Medical Center, Harborview, and Hall Health, see below for details.)
  4. If you are not at a UW site, go to the employee health clinic associated with the clinical or practicum site or to the nearest Emergency Room. Be sure to take with you:
    1. Information about the source patient: name, hospital or clinic number, date of birth, and patient location
    2. Details about the injury
    3. Standard testing protocols (see below for approved laboratory testing schedule )
    4. Your personal insurance information

Billing and Reimbursement for Services

If seen by a non-UW clinic (including any emergency room) for services, the charges for initial testing and preventive drugs related to the exposure visit are first billed to your personal insurance.

PLEASE NOTE:
 
Itemized bills showing any amounts not covered by insurance should be sent to HSIP with a request for payment within 60 days of the BBP exposure/needlestick incident. If billing information or receipts are not available within this time frame then HSIP must still be notified of the incident and your intent to request reimbursement within 60 days of the BBP exposure. 
Requests outside this timeframe will not be processed.

If your insurance does not cover all the fees, or if you have questions about being reimbursed for expenses related to BBP exposures or needlestick/sharps injuries, please contact HSIP staff by email at myshots@uw.edu or leave a voice mail message at 206-616-9074.
If emailing myshots@uw.edu, please note in subject line of email: REIMBURSEMENT QUESTION

Approved Laboratory Testing Schedule for a BBP Exposure or Needlestick/Sharps Injury

Health Sciences students who have a needlestick or sharps injury while working outside the University of Washington system should refer to the Approved Laboratory Testing Schedule as a resource to avoid being charged unnecessary lab fees. Lab tests ordered must follow this schedule to qualify for reimbursement by the HSIP student health fee.

Please note under baseline labs that it is unnecessary to draw the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) or Hepatitis B Core Antibody (HBcAb) titers if there is a documented history of completed Hepatitis B vaccine series and a positive Hepatitis B Surface Antibody. In most cases, Health Sciences students who have already satisfied their initial program requirements by proving their immunity to Hepatitis B do not need to have these labs drawn after a bloodborne pathogen exposure or needlestick/sharps injury.

BBP Exposure: Approved Laboratory Testing Schedule for Reimbursement

Follow-up Care

Routine follow-up laboratory testing is often performed 4-6 weeks and 4 months after the initial post-exposure visit.  Students who are in the Seattle area at the time their follow-up visit is needed may contact the UW Employee Health Center for an appointment at (206) 685-1026.

Students who are not in the Seattle area should follow-up as directed.    NOTE: If seen by a non-UW clinic for services, any charges are first billed to your personal insurance.  Itemized bills showing any amounts not covered should be sent to HSIP within 60 days of the visit.  If billing information or receipts are not available within this time frame then HSIP must still be notified of the visit and your intent to request reimbursement.  Requests outside this timeframe will not be processed.

UW Employee Health Clinics: Locations and Contact Information

Hall Health Primary Care Center mapUW Employee Health Center

The UW Employee Health Center is located in Room G07 (ground floor) of Hall Health Center. Hall Health Center is located on the UW campus on Stevens Way across from the Husky Union Building (HUB), between Padelford Hall and the University of Washington Club.

As you enter Hall Health at the main entrance (on the 1st floor), the Patient Services Center will be directly ahead of you and the Pharmacy on your left. Opposite the Pharmacy is a stairway. Go down one level to the ground floor and turn right. The Employee Health Clinic is located in Room G07.

UW Employee Health Center
Telephone: (206) 685-1026
Fax:  (206) 221-5110     -     Mail Stop:  354410
Hours: 8:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Friday
Ground Floor, Hall Health  Building

UW Medical Center Employee Health Center mapUW Medical Center Employee Health Center

The UWMC Employee Health Center is located in Room NE 210 of the UW Medical Center (on the second floor across from the Emergency Department). 

UW Medical Center Employee Health Center
Telephone: (206) 598-4848
Fax:  (206) 598-4469     -     Mail Stop:  356122
Hours: 7:30am - 4:30pm, Monday - Friday
UW Medical Center: 2nd Floor Map

Harborview Medical Center Employee Health Center

The Employee Health Center at Harborview Medical Center is located on the south end of the first floor of Harborview.

Harborview Medical Center Employee Health Center
Telephone: (206) 744-3081
Fax: (206-744-4886)     -     Mail Stop:  359855
Hours: 7:30am - 4:30pm, Monday - Friday
East Clinic, Harborview Medical Center

Resources: Emergency Needlestick Information

CDC Emergency Needlestick Information:
www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/bbp/emergnedl.html