Blood-borne Pathogen Post-Exposure Plan

Purpose of the Plan

This plan has been designed to reduce the chances of exposure to blood borne pathogens that individuals in the department may encounter secondary to injuries that occur during athletic-related activities. These bloodborne pathogens include, but are not limited to, the hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HBC), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The guidelines in both documents were set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard, 29 CFR 1910.1030.

This plan specifically focuses on the following individuals in the department:

  1. Certified Athletic Trainers responsible for medical coverage during athletic events (i.e. practices and games).
  2. Coaches, game day administrators, and officials who may be exposed blood borne pathogens secondary to their involvement in athletic-related activities.
  3. Student-athletes who may be exposed to blood borne pathogens secondary to their participation in collegiate athletics.
  4. Athletic training students who may be exposed to blood borne pathogens during either observational or clinical setting.

Coaches are included in the plan due to the fact that all head coaches at Averett University are certified in CPR. It is also highly recommended that assistant coaches receive certification, but they are not required to do so.


Due to the nature of their occupation, Certified Athletic Trainers working within the department will be primarily responsible for carrying out procedures in the exposure plan. However, since other athletics and physical education department employees and students can be present during situations involving exposure to bloodborne pathogens, they too will be responsible for seeing that appropriate steps are taken if they are involved in an incident.  All Certified Athletic Trainers and athletic training students involved with observational or clinical hours must attend an annual training seminar on blood borne pathogens.   All Certified Athletic Trainers and athletic training students must review the detailed exposure control plan.  There will be a copy of the detailed plan located in the Athletic Training Room for review.

Exposure Determination

Athletic-related activities can place individuals at risk for exposure at any time. Many times it will be while caring for an individual who sustained an injury. The following are activities one may encounter for potential exposure to a blood borne pathogen:

  • Performing CPR
  • Resuscitation with mouth to mouth
  • Taking care of blisters
  • Managing an ill athlete (vomitus)
  • Management of a compound fracture
  • Dressing and wound care
  • Suture removal
  • Assisting physicians with knee aspiration or cauliflower ear
  • Proper disposal of soiled uniforms or towels
  • Cleaning tables and infected areas
  • Proper disposal of biohazard waste

Most of these activities are the responsibilities of Certified Athletic Trainers, therefore, they will be responsible for making sure the plan is carried out. However, there are certain activities (i.e. CPR) that may be performed by other department employees. It is important that all bodily fluids are treated as if they contain a blood borne pathogen.


The goal of compliance in preventing disease transmission of blood borne pathogens may be achieved in many ways. Appropriate engineering and work practice controls along with practicing Universal Precautions can help protect all members of the department. Appropriate containers for biohazard waste along with personal protective equipment are all located in the Athletic Training Room in the Grant Center. Certified Athletic Trainers covering practices and games should make sure that appropriate equipment is available at these events. All waste soiled with potentially infectious material should be disposed of in specific containers for hazardous waste and labeled accordingly. Appropriate hygiene measures (i.e. hand washing) should be taken care of immediately after care of a sick and/or injured individual. Antiseptic gels or wipes may be used if a hand washing facility is not in the immediate area. If hands come in contact with any bodily substance or materials contaminated by a bodily substance, they should be washed with soap and water immediately. It is recommended that food and drink be eliminated from the workplace due to possible exposure to a blood borne pathogen.  It is important that personal protective equipment be used when there is potential for exposure. This equipment consists of the following: latex gloves, goggles, face shields, CPR masks, and gowns. Any equipment that is single use should be disposed of in red biohazard bags. Any sharps instruments (i.e. needles or scalpel blades) should be placed in an appropriate sharps container. An appropriate disinfectant solution will be made available in the circumstance that any surface is soiled with blood or body fluids.

Post-Exposure Evaluation and Follow-Up

In the circumstance that an exposure incident occurs, the involved individual must contact his/her direct supervisor.   If the supervisor is unable to be contacted, treatment should not be delayed. The following steps should be taken after an attempt to contact the supervisor:

  1. Wash the affected area with soap and water. If an eye splash injury occurs, flush the eye with water.
  2. Go immediately to the nearest Emergency Room with your source individual if feasible.
  3. If an individual is traveling with a team at the time of exposure, go to the nearest emergency room in the respective area. Do not wait until you get back from the contest/event before receiving care.
  4. The involved individual should then follow-up with the recommended care as directed by the Emergency Department personnel.

It is important that documentation of the incident also take place. This document will contain the route(s) of exposure and how the exposure occurred. A form is available (in the athletic training room) to document the exposure incident.  The exposed individual will be given the option for baseline blood testing. If the source individual is known, they will be given the option to consent for testing to determine HIV, HCV, and HBV status. If the source individual is already known to have a blood borne disease, new testing does not need to be performed. If their status is unknown and they consent to testing, the exposed employee should be made aware about laws protecting the confidentiality of this information.