March 5, 2024

Reminder: Obtaining source labs: the most important step in a blood & body fluid exposure

The most important step in any blood and body fluid exposure or needlestick injury, following first aid, is identifying your source patient, and notifying the patient’s treating team to order the source patient labs.

This step is important because exposure treatment is time sensitive, or your patient may be getting discharged from your clinical site, so it is important that these steps are done before a patient leaves your clinical area. Occupational Health needs to know if you are at risk of any exposures to infectious disease from your injury.

There are several ways to order your source patient labs. You can look to Hubbl for guidance, your ordering provider can search “source” under their order Smart Sets, or you can order each test individually. Tests needed to identify any potential blood borne pathogen exposures are a Rapid HIV, PCR Hepatitis C Qt, and a Hepatitis B Surface Antigen.

The best process is to notify your team and the patient’s team of the injury prior to coming to Occupational Health. This helps to prevent patients from leaving your clinic or hospital unit before labs are ordered and drawn and helps to get you the care you may need in a timely manner.