Needlestick Injury Policy and Protocol

Students who incur an occupational exposure to blood or body fluids through the skin, eye or mucous membrane while working on a clinical rotation should immediately wash the area with soap and water (for 15 minutes). They should then report the incident immediately to the nursing supervisor who can activate the hospital’s needle stick team (to ask for permission to draw blood from the source patient). The student should then report immediately to the hospital's Emergency Room for evaluation and treatment (at some sites, during regular hours, students can report to Employee Health but it’s best to report to the ER). Students should report that they are not employees and should provide health insurance information. The student's blood should be drawn for Hepatitis B antigen and antibody screening (HbsAg and anti-HBs) and for HIV antibody screening. HIV testing must be done in accordance with the current recommended protocol.  If not already done, students need to request that the hospital resource nurse in charge of “source patients” be called to make sure that the “source patient” is checked as well. Medical students may be requested to complete an Incident Report. For payment purposes, please note that students are not eligible for Workers' Compensation benefits since they are not technically an employee of the hospital or Tufts University. Please be certain to ask that a copy of your ER visit and lab information be sent to your PCP. You will be responsible for the initial payment of all insurance co-pays and charges by the hospital. However, the Medical School will reimburse students for up to $500.00 for costs incurred from needle stick injuries.In order to be reimbursed, you must retain copies of your payments (for associated medical visits and medications) and turn them in to one of the deans in the Office of Student Affairs.