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Emergency Response Protocols

Personal contamination

  1. Alert co-workers.
  2. Clean exposed surface with soap/water, eyewash (eyes), or saline (mouth); Flush for 15 minutes.
  3. Apply first aid and treat as an emergency.
  4. Notify supervisor.
  5. For biological material exposures, paid staff are to contact CorVel Corp. at 1-866-245-8588 to obtain a health consultation, claim number, and further instructions, per UT Risk Management procedures. Unpaid students may report to UT Student Health Services (865-974-3135) or their personal care physician.
  6. Complete the Incident Report Form, which is to be remitted to the Risk Management Office. For additional information, see http://riskmanagement.tennessee.edu or contact (865) 974-5409.    

Personal contamination when human derived materials (blood or other potentially infectious materials) are involved

  1. If contact with blood or other potentially infectious material occurs on skin with cuts, rashes, acne or dermatitis, wash the area for 15 minutes with soap and water.
  2. If blood or other potentially infectious material splashes in the eyes or on mucous membranes, flush the area for 15 minutes with water or normal saline.
  3. If there is a cut or puncture with a contaminated object (broken glass, needle, etc), wash the area for 15 minutes with soap and water.
  4. Report the incident to a supervisor if available.
  5. Initiate medical follow-up immediately.
  6. The supervisor refers the employee and the source, if available, to UT Medical Center Emergency Room if located in the Knoxville area, or the closest available emergency care facility for immediate care and follow-up. The facility will follow current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for a potential bloodborne pathogens exposure incident. Paid staff should report exposure to CorVel Corp. at 1-866-245-8588 to obtain a claim number per UT Risk Management procedures (this step can be concurrent with emergency reporting).
  7. Complete, together with the supervisor, the Supervisor’s Report of Employee Accident form and the State of Tennessee Accident Report form. Complete the Incident Report Form, which is to be remitted to the Risk Management Office. For additional information, see http://riskmanagement.tennessee.edu or contact (865) 974-5409.    
  8. If a Graduate School of Medicine (GSM) employee, complete follow-up actions outlined by Employee Health. Notify the UTK/UTIA Biosafety Officer at (865) 974-1938 within 3 working days of the exposure to initiate required exposure investigation procedures.
  9. If a non- GSM employee, follow-up with the Occupational Health Nurse within 3 working days of the exposure incident to follow up on immediate medical actions taken and to establish a medical surveillance plan.
  10. The UTK/UTIA Biosafety Officer will evaluate all bloodborne pathogens exposure incidents and complete a BBP Exposure/Sharps Injury Report to capture all information currently required under the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens standard. All documentation related to an exposure incident will be recorded and maintained in such a manner as to protect the confidentiality of the employee.

Cleaning up a biohazardous spill in a biosafety cabinet

  1. Let the BSC run. Do not turn off.
  2. Cover spill with paper towels.
  3. Spray spill with appropriate disinfectant working from outside edge of spill inward.
  4. After the contact time, wipe up the spilled material.
  5. Reapply disinfectant to the affected area and after the appropriate contact time, wipe up the area. Repeat if necessary.
  6. Perform disinfection before removing items.
  7. Segregate contaminated cleanup materials into the appropriate biohazardous waste containers.

Cleaning up a biohazardous spill outside of a biosafety cabinet

  1. Close off the area and allow aerosols to settle.
  2. Notify others including supervisor.
  3. Assemble all spill cleanup materials and review procedure.
  4. Don appropriate PPE: laboratory coat, safety glasses, Nitrile gloves.
  5. Apply disinfectant to contaminated surface and allow it to stand for proper contact time.
  6. Remove broken glass with a dustpan and place glass in a sharps container; Sprinkle absorbent powder over spill area.
  7. Sweep up spill. Dispose of the dustpan in the biohazardous waste.
  8. Apply disinfectant to contaminated surface and allow it to stand for proper contact time.
  9. Wipe up disinfectant, repeat if necessary.
  10. Segregate contaminated cleanup materials into the appropriate biohazardous waste containers.

Cleaning up a biohazardous spill inside a centrifuge

  1. Close off the area and allow aerosols to settle.
  2. Notify others including supervisor.
  3. Wait 30 minutes to allow the aerosols created to settle.
  4. Don appropriate PPE: laboratory coat, safety glasses, Nitrile gloves.
  5. Remove rotors and bucket and place in the sink.
  6. Thoroughly disinfect the inside of the centrifuge.
  7. Segregate contaminated cleanup materials into the appropriate biohazardous waste containers.

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