Exposure Control Plan to Prevent Infections with Blood-borne Pathogens
Biological labs handle samples of human origin- blood, semen, tissues etc. Work with these samples should be performed under biosafety level 2.
The risk of infection from a single exposure is 0.38%.
Studies have demonstrated that the rate of seroconversion after a contaminated needle stick is 30% for HBV, 3% for HCV and < 0.4% for HIV.
Exposures to blood-borne pathogens in the laboratory may involve:
- Needle stick or cut from a sharp object that came n contact with tissues or body fluids of human origin.
- Exposure of mucous membranes (nose, eyes) or ingestion (mouth) of materials originating from human tissues or body fluids.
- Contact of non-intact skin (chapped, abraded, or afflicted with dermatitis) with tissues or body fluids of human origin.
- Contact of intact skin or mucous membranes with high-titer pathogen contaminated materials (such as cell cultures).
- Use Biosafety level 2 (BL2) practices (see https://www.weizmann.ac.il/safety/biological-safety/biosafety-levels) with all non-fixed samples of human origin. In case information is available about the source of sample, serological results, heat inactivation etc., you may consult a biosafety officer.
Please note: before working with samples from patients with infectious diseases, consult a biosafety officer!
- People working with non-fixed human samples should be vaccinated for HBV.
Work is allowed only after receiving the second shot. Antibody titer should be tested if only 2 out of 3 shots are documented. If the titer is above 10 mili international units, the third shot is still required. If under 10 mili international units re-vaccination is required (all 3 shots).
- Prevent needle stick accidents:
- For in vitro procedures use only blunt end needles.
- Never recap needles.
- Never bend, break, or otherwise manipulate needles by hand.
- Never put down a syringe with an exposed needle or hand it over to another person.
- Immediately after use, discard needle and syringe (whether contaminated or not) into the sharps bin.
- Use care and caution when cleaning up after procedures that require the use of syringes and needles.
- Prevent mucous membrane exposure: work in a biological hood or wearing particulate respirator and safety glasses (can be obtained at the safety unit).
- Change your gloves frequently and when contaminated.
In case of exposure:
- For eye exposure, flush with water for at least 15 minutes.
- In case of skin contact or a needle stick accident, wash the affected area with soap and water as soon as possible, apply antiseptic and a clean dressing.
- Report the accident immediately to the emergency center 2999 and seek medical advice.