No./Title: COM118/Reporting Infections and Other Hazard Exposures
Resp. Office: Medical Education
Approval Body: CUME
Effective Date: 05/17/21
Last Review: N/A
Next Review: 05/17/24
Contact: Michael Whitt, Ph.D.
Assoc. Dean for Medical Education
COM117 Infection Control and Prevention of Exposure to Environmental Hazards
RS002 Exposure Control Plan
Program: Medicine (M.D.)
It is the policy of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Medicine (COM) that mechanisms be in place for students to promptly report and receive medical attention for all significant exposures to infectious agents or other environmental hazards. This is essential to protect their own health and safety as well as that of their colleagues and their patients, and applies to prior known infections as well as exposures sustained in the course of medical training.
RATIONALE AND PROCEDURE
Students with known blood-borne infections (e.g., Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Human Immunodeficiency Virus), are ethically bound to report their infections to the institution.
- Students who harbor such pathogens must inform the Medical Director of University Health Services.
- The Medical Director evaluates the status of the student according to guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), taking into consideration the importance of maintaining patient safety as well as student privacy and medical confidentiality.
- The Medical Director will communicate any required restricions of student activity to the Associate Dean of Medical Education and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.
- Students should not defer seeking clinical care or career advice regarding such conditions due to financial or other concerns. However, students with prior known infections are financially responsible for any associated healthcare or monitoring costs.
- In compliance with the American with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) students living with blood-borne diseases will not be discriminated against when considering admission and retention at UTHSC COM.
- Once it has been determined what, if any, adjustments or restrictions may need to be imposed on an individual student, reasonable accommodations will be developed through the UTHSC Disability Office and Technical Standards Committee. All UTHSC COM students must meet the UTHSC COM technical standards.
Any significant exposure to potentially infectious materials that may occur in the course of student training is to be treated and reported.
- The CDC recommends application of “Standard Precautions” to the care of all patients, regardless of diagnosis or presumed infection status. By these criteria, potential sources of infection include: blood, all other body fluids, secretions and excretions except sweat, as well as contact with non-intact skin or mucous membranes.
The following would be considered significant exposure to such materials:
- Percutaneous exposure by needle stick or other sharp instrument, or by human bites that penetrate the skin;
- Mucous membrane exposure by a splash to eyes or mouth;
- Contamination of a fresh cut (typically less than 2 hours old);
- Skin contact involving large volumes or prolonged exposure intervals, particularly if the exposed surface is chapped, abraded or otherwise compromised.
- Students should not ignore such exposures.
If a student sustains an exposure to biological materials considered to be a bloodborne pathogens risk, the student should seek medical consultation and treatment immediately.
First aid response should include the following:
- If contact with blood or other potentially infectious material occurs on skin with cuts, rashes, acne or dermatitis, wash the area for 15 minutes with soap and water.
- If blood or other potentially infectious material splashes in the eyes or on mucous membranes, flush the area for 15 minutes with water or normal saline.
- If there is a cut or puncture with a contaminated object (broken glass, needle, etc.), wash the area for 15 minutes with soap and water.
- Following initial first aid immediately inform your supervisor and follow the exposure protocol for the site where the exposure occurred. Contact information for reporting and occupational exposure at each site is provided at the end of this document.
- UTHSC campus exposures must be reported to UTHSC University Health Services (UHS) by calling the daytime or after-hours phone number provided below.
- If the exposure occurred off UTHSC campus, after treatment has occurred you must report the exposure to UTHSC University Health Services at 901-448-5630. On holidays and weekends contact UHS on the following business day. (For treatment of an exposure that has occurred on UTHSC campus call the number below at any time).
- UTHSC faculty and staff exposures must be reported by calling the CorVel 24/7 nurse line at 1-866-245-8588 within 48 hours of the incident and before seeking follow-up medical care. Faculty members with joint appointments at UTHSC and affiliate locations shall only call CorVel if the exposure occurred during the performance of UTHSC-related job responsibilities.
- Supervisors notified about student exposures must complete the UT Incident Report Form and on behalf of the student and email the completed form to the University of Tennessee Office of Risk Management at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Visiting students should contact their Campus Liaison for Visiting Students who will complete the Incident Report Form and submit it to the UT Office of Risk Management.
- Campus Safety will follow up on injuries and exposures that occur on the Memphis campus to investigate and document if changes can be made to prevent future occurrences. This will include collection of Sharps Injury Log information.
- When warranted, students may be excused from all learning activities to address the potential risks or effects of infectious or environmental disease or disability. Students will also meet with the Associate Deans for Medical Education and Student Affairs to discuss the impact on their education and/or graduation date.
- First aid response should include the following:
- UHS is responsible for receiving the student’s exposure report, arranging for testing of identified source patients, and advising the student regarding appropriate care including diagnostic tests and follow-up. Post-exposure prophylaxis should be initiated as soon as possible if indicated.
- In the event that it is not possible to be seen at UHS it is important that the treating facility file all necessary insurance charges. The UTHSC sponsored insurance plan (United HealthCare Student Resources) has the appropriate coverage, and corresponding coverage should be verified if a student is on another plan. If any bills related to an exposure are received after claims are filed students should contact Selinda Johnson at 901.448.5064. All efforts are made to avoid out of pocket expenses to the student.
Contact information for incident reporting at UTHSC and affiliate sites
Affiliate Site Daytime* After Hours*
University Health Services
UHS Medical Provider: (901) 541-5654
BAPTIST HOSPITAL (East)
Employee Health (8am-4pm)
Emergency Room (901) 226-5000
EAST TENNESSEE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
Erlanger WorkForce Corporate Health Office (8am-4pm) (423) 778-4800
Associate Health (8am-4pm)
Emergency Room (866) 870-5570
JACKSON-MADISON COUNTY HOSPITAL
MEMPHIS MENTAL HEALTH INSTITUTE (MMHI)
METHODIST UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL
Associate Health (7am-4pm)
MOCCASIN BEND MENTAL HEALTH INSTITUTE
REGIONAL ONE HEALTH (ROH – THE MED)
(7am-5pm) (901) 545-7166
Emergency Room (901) 545-7826
ST. FRANCIS HOSPITAL
Emergency Room (901) 765-2180
ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S RESEARCH HOSPITAL
ASCENSION ST. THOMAS HOSPITAL – RUTHERFORD
Rutherford Occupational Health
ASCENSION ST. THOMAS HOSPITAL – WEST
West Occupational Health
ASCENSION ST. THOMAS HOSPITAL – MIDTOWN
Midtown Occupational Health
UT MEDICAL CENTER (KNOXVILLE)
Employee Health (8am-5pm)
*In addition to on-site contacts listed, student must also contact UHS.