New sharps and splash reporting procedure starts Jan. 10

Penn State Health and Penn State College of Medicine will launch a new process for reporting a sharps or splash incident beginning this Thursday, Jan. 10.

Employees and students should fill out a brief questionnaire, “Intake of Sharps or Blood/Body Fluid Splash Injury” which can be accessed at

The Sharps Hotline will be discontinued on Jan. 10 at 10 p.m.

After submitting the questionnaire, the individual will receive instructions on how to proceed, as well as a confidential case number to use for lab work. The instructions and case number will be provided via a PDF at the end of the report and in a separate email.

Either the victim or the supervisor in charge of the work area where the incident occurred will also receive an email with instructions on how to obtain consent from the source of the exposure, which is usually a patient, and how to have bloodwork performed.

This new reporting system will provide employees with an easier, more efficient process.

“The safety of our employees, students, patients and visitors is our number one priority,” said Lori Bechtel, nurse manager, Employee Health. “All sharps or splash incidents should be reported immediately.”

A sharps injury is defined as exposure to blood or body fluids caused by laceration or puncture of the skin. Sharps include needles, scalpels or any item that punctures the skin. A splash incident is when blood or body fluids come into contact with the eyes, mouth, broken skin or mucous membranes, which can expose the victim to bloodborne pathogens.

For questions about the new reporting procedure, contact Employee Health at 717-531-8280 or Bechtel at 717-531-0003, x283061.

January 7, 2019 Penn State Health iNews

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