Safety

Ask The Expert

OSHA Watch, November 5, 2008

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Source patient blood draw

Q: Must we draw source-patient blood after a needlestick exposure even though we are a pediatric practice and the likelihood of infection is small?

A: OSHA requires universal precautions as an element of your exposure control plan, and you cannot claim to observe universal precautions if you assume that blood or body fluids from a pediatric patient pose little or no risk in an occupational exposure.

In fact, Enforcement Procedures for the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens, the guideline document for OSHA inspectors, specifically addresses this concern:

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