SECTION:                  Health

SUBJECT:                 Bloodborne Pathogens

EFFECTIVE DATE:   January 31, 1995

PAGE(S):                   2

      It is the policy of the University of Pittsburgh to limit or prevent occupational or student

      exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials (as defined below) and to

      provide certain treatment following any such exposure.  This document serves to clarify

      the University program for education, prevention, post-exposure medical treatment and

      follow-up* provided for employees and students who have been exposed to bloodborne

      pathogens as a part of workplace or other programmed activity.


      Bloodborne Pathogens means pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human

      blood and can cause disease in humans.  These pathogens include, but are not limited to,

      hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

      Occupational Exposure means reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane, or

      parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that may result from

      the performance of employees’ duties or students’ programmed activities.

      Other Potentially Infectious Materials means:

      -     the following human body fluids:

            semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial

            fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, any body fluid that is

            visibly contaminated with blood, and all body fluids in situations where it is difficult or

            impossible to differentiate between body fluids;

      -     any unfixed tissue or organ (other than intact skin) from a human (living or dead); and

      -     HIV-containing cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, and HIV or HBV-containing culture

            medium or other solutions; and blood, organs, or other tissues from experimental

            animals infected with HIV or HBV.


      The University shall provide education and prophylactic guidelines to employees and

      students who may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens.  This action shall be described in

      detail in the University’s Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan (ECP).

      University employees and students shall have access to treatment and follow-up of

      exposure to bloodborne pathogens.  Employee treatment is specified by the OSHA

      standard 29 CFR 1910.1030 (f) (3), Workers’ Compensation and the University Exposure

      Control Plan.  Treatment costs will be subject to payment under the University’s Workers’

      Compensation policy and procedures.

      Students who are not employees are not covered by OSHA standards or Workers’

      Compensation, but will have access to appropriate evaluation and treatment of exposures

      through referral centers identified below, and at the student’s or student’s health insurer’s

      expense.  Students who enroll in a University programmed activity where exposure to

      human blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials is probable or possible must carry

      health insurance validated each term that will cover payment of treatment and follow-up


      With the exception of students enrolled in the Schools of the Health Sciences (Dental

      Medicine, Graduate School of Public Health, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Health and

      Rehabilitation Sciences), the use of unpreserved human blood and/or Other Potentially

      Infectious Materials and primate blood and/or Other Potentially Infectious Materials shall be

      excluded from all undergraduate courses and laboratory work.  Petitions for exemptions

      from this rule can be made by the course instructor to the Biohazards Committee. 

                                  HBV IMMUNIZATION AND PREVENTIVE TRAINING

      Before engaging in a University programmed activity where exposure to human blood

      and/or Other Potentially Infectious Materials is probable or possible, each employee and

      each student must present either evidence of HBV immunization, or serologic evidence of

      a protective antibody titer against hepatitis B virus disease (HBV) and undergo training to

      prevent or minimize exposure.  Hepatitis B immunization is available to University

      employees without charge.  Students should check with their health insurers about

      coverage of, or reimbursement for, HBV immunization.  Employees or students who want

      to forego such immunization must sign a formal disclaimer statement. 

                                                 EXPOSURE FOLLOW-UP

      Any University employee or student who believes that he or she may have had an

      exposure to blood, body fluids, or Other Potentially Infectious Materials should:

      -     Promptly report to one of the designated referral centers approved by the

            Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic, University of Pittsburgh and listed in

            the University Exposure Control Plan;

      -     Provide information to the licensed health care provider at the referral center about

            the circumstances under which the possible exposure occurred; and

      -     Complete and submit the appropriate accident and/or Workers’ Compensation report

            in accordance with University policy.

      Evaluation of the exposure and recommendations for follow-up will be provided at the

      referral centers.  Any questions should be directed to the Environmental Health and

      Safety Office, telephone 624-9544.


*  Post-exposure medical treatment and follow-up as defined in the OSHA Standard.