UT Southwestern Medical Center provides medical care and counseling to students who have had exposure to blood and/or body fluids or active tuberculosis. Exposures to blood or body fluid are managed by the Occupational Health Department of UT Southwestern. Tuberculosis exposures are managed by Student Health.
Follow these general instructions if an exposure occurs:
- Needlestick/sharps injury or skin exposure: Immediately rinse the exposed body area thoroughly with soap and water.
- Mucous membrane/eye exposure: Immediately flush eyes, mouth, or nose with plentiful amounts of water as soon as possible following exposure.
Reporting Procedure for On-Campus Exposures
Inform your supervisor (resident, attending, charge nurse). Call the 24-hour Occupational Health Nurse Beeper (214-588-6263). The Occupational Health Nurse will return the page and obtain specifics regarding the exposure.
Depending on the nature of the exposure, you will be advised regarding further evaluation. Occupational Health will draw appropriate labs, initiate treatment, prophylaxis, and plan follow-up.
If exposure occurs at the Dallas Veterans Administration Medical Center or another center, abide by that medical center’s exposure policy (you may want to use UT Southwestern’s policy as a reference). Report the incident to UT Southwestern Exposure Control Program at 214-645-5300 for follow-up care.
The cost of initial testing and any indicated prophylaxis treatment, not covered by insurance, will be paid by UT Southwestern.
Post-Exposure Active Tuberculosis
Students who have had an exposure to a patient with an active tuberculosis (TB) infection should follow these guidelines:
- Students identified as coming in contact with an infected patient should have a tuberculin skin test (PPD) within 10 days of the exposure. If the student has had a negative PPD test within one to two months prior to the exposure, this will serve as the baseline test.
- After the PPD, a repeat PPD will be placed within six to eight weeks of the exposure. Those who have completed the Tuberculosis Health Questionnaire due to past PPD-positive tests will repeat the questionnaire in 10 to12 weeks to evaluate any change in health status.
- Students who have tested PPD-positive in the past should complete the Tuberculosis Health Questionnaire available in the Student Health Center and return it to Student Health Services.
The student should report the development of any symptoms of TB (fever, persistent cough, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats) to Student Health Services at 214-645-8690.