Guidelines for the Emergency Management of Injuries and Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) (including needlestick and sharps injuries, sexual exposure and human bites) where there is a risk of transmission of bloodborne viruses and other infectious diseases
These guidelines are intended for use in emergency medical settings where a patient first presents with an injury (including needlestick or other sharps injury, sexual exposure, human bite, exposure of broken skin or of mucous membranes) where there is a risk of transmission of infection, in particular bloodborne viruses (BBV).
These guidelines are relevant to injuries occurring to members of the public in a community setting and also to injuries sustained occupationally (such as to healthcare workers (HCW) or members of the Garda).
The terms “recipient” and “source” will be used throughout these guidelines:
Recipient: the person who sustains the injury.
Source: The source of the potentially infected material, eg the person on whom the sharp was used, the person who bites, or the source of the blood or body fluid.
The BBVs considered in these guidelines are hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).