| FAQ - Sharps Safety/Postexposure Management - Archived Through 2012
What should one do if a puncture injury occurs, resulting in bleeding?
If the injury involves exposure to a patient's blood, saliva, or other potentially infectious materials, the dental worker must report the injury to the designated person in the practice as soon as possible. Steps to follow include administering basic first aid, ensuring the device involved in the injury is not reused on the patient, and referral to an appropriate healthcare provider as soon as possible for evaluation and follow-up. More detailed recommendations are provided in the document Exposures to Blood, What Healthcare Workers Need to Know (1). The healthcare provider (usually an occupational health professional) should be knowledgeable in the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for post-exposure prophylaxis (2).
(1) CDC. Exposures to Blood, What Healthcare Workers Need to Know. Available at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/hip/BLOOD/exp_blood.htm
(2) CDC. Updated U.S. Public Health Service Guidelines for the Management of Occupational Exposures to HBV, HCV, and HIV and Recommendations for Postexposure Prophylaxis. MMWR Morbid Mortal Weekly Rep 2001;50(RR-11). Available at www.cdc.gov/mmwr//preview/mmwrhtml/rr5011a1.htm