Avoiding Sharps Injuries

After needles, your bur is most likely to be your best source of sharps injury. You might accidentally brush against it and tear the glove and skin. The bur can cut through your sleeve right into your forearm.When doing something else at the bracket table place your handpiece head down with the bur facing away from you. This will bring the bur out of the range of normal hand movements.

If you should get a puncture wound that exposes you to the patient's blood or body fluids, immediate and thorough cleansing of the area with soap and water is your best initial emergency response. Before you go to Student Health Services (or after hours to the Emergency Department) notify the Office of Clinical Affairs. They should help provide any necessary temporizing for your patient. An Incident Report will also have to be filed and forwarded to Student Health Services.

If warranted by the examining (Student Health Services or Emergency Department) physician and yourself, you will receive HIV prophylaxis free of charge.

If you have any questions, please contact Student Health Services (ext. 2-4088) or the Director of Infection Control at Temple University Hospital, Keith St. John (ext. 2-4050 or pager #1425).

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1999 by Julius Rosen, D.D.S.