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Inoculation Injuries Policy

The wound should be allowed to bleed and washed thoroughly with running water

Where there is reason to be concerned about the possible transmission of infection, the injured person should seek urgent advice according to the local arrangements in place on what follow up action, including serological surveillance, is necessary. Ideally all practices should have formal links with an occupational health service, so that management of sharps injuries is undertaken promptly and according to accepted national protocols

Every primary care trust will have at least one designated specialist, for example the Consultant in Communicable Disease Control or Consultant Medical Microbiologist, who can be contacted for advice on post-exposure prophylaxis. Every practice should have details of the local contact displayed prominently

When local advice cannot be obtained, advice should be obtained from the following sources:

England: the duty doctor at the PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, 61 Colindale Avenue, LondonNW9 5EQ (Tel: 020 8200 6868)

Scotland: Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health (SCIEH), Clifton House, Clifton Place, GlasgowG3 7LN (Tel: 0141 300 1100) 

Wales: PHL Cardiff, The UniversityHospital of Wales, HeathPark, Cardiff CF14 4XW (Tel: 02920 742718)

Northern Ireland: Director of Public Health at your local Health and Social Services Board.

A full record of the incident should be made in the accident book and include details of who was injured, how the incident occurred, what action was taken, which dentists were informed and when and, if known, the name of the patient being treated. Both the injured person and the dentist in charge should countersign the record.

The risk of acquiring HIV infection following an inoculation injury is small. If the source patient is HIV infected, the use of anti-retroviral drugs taken prophylactically within one hour if possible is recommended. Post exposure prophylaxis can be obtained from (include details of local contact)

If an accident does occur: - 

Immediate action 

¨        Encourage bleeding from the injury if appropriate.

¨        Wash the skin thoroughly with HIBISCRUB and warm water.  DO NOT SCRUB.

¨        If the eyes are contaminated, wash with copious amounts of water or saline immediately.

¨        If the mouth is contaminated, rinse out thoroughly with water or saline, which should not be swallowed. 

Report the incident IMMEDIATELY to the Practice Owner/s who should: 

¨        Identify the source of contamination, if possible, and if not already known.

¨        Ensure that the person who has been injured, at an appropriate time makes a written statement.

¨        Arrange for the injured person to be seen at an A & E department as soon as possible.  The person should take with them as much information about the source of the sharp or contamination (incl. patient details) as   possible.

¨        The Practice Owner/s will initiate appropriate investigation of the incident and take such steps as are required to prevent a recurrence of the incident.