Health Professional Information about Blood-borne Pathogens - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Information about Bloodborne Pathogens for Health Professionals

Occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens from needlesticks and other sharps injuries is a serious problem, but it is often preventable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year 385,000 needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries are sustained by hospital-based healthcare personnel. Similar injuries occur in other healthcare settings, such as nursing homes, clinics, emergency care services, and private homes. Sharps injuries are primarily associated with occupational transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but they may be implicated in the transmission of more than 20 other pathogens.

On this page:
Preventing occupational exposures
Preventing patient exposures
Post-exposure prophylaxis

Preventing occupational exposures to bloodborne pathogens

It is the responsibility of both employers and employees to take steps to prevent the potential exposure of workers to bloodborne pathogens.

  • Workbook for Designing, Implementing and Evaluating a Sharps Injury Prevention Program
    An effective sharps injury prevention program includes several components that must work in concert to prevent healthcare personnel from suffering needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries. This program plan is designed to integrate into existing performance improvement, infection control, and safety programs. CDC. Attention: Non-MDH link

  • Worker Protection: Bloodborne Pathogens
    What employees need to know to protect themselves against exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Includes general information, guidelines and publications regarding worker protection from bloodborne pathogens. CDC. Attention: Non-MDH link

  • CDC’s Office of Health and Safety
    Helpful information regarding the achievement of a safe and healthful work environment. CDC. Attention: Non-MDH link

Preventing patient exposure to bloodborne pathogens

  • Patient Protection: Bloodborne Pathogens
    Protecting your patients against possible exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Includes information about sterilization and disinfection of medical devices, other guidelines, and publications regarding patient protection from bloodborne pathogens. CDC. Attention: Non-MDH link

Post-exposure prophylaxis for potential bloodborne pathogens exposures

Timely and appropriate management of potential bloodborne pathogen exposures is essential.




Updated Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 02:13PM