Rigorous attention to established infection prevention practices can reduce the transmission of blood borne viral infections (BBVI). Physicians and medical trainees who perform exposure prone procedures (EPP) and who are not immune to HBV, should be immunized against HBV if there are no contraindications to immunization. Physicians who perform EPP have an obligation to know their viral status and to be tested at appropriate intervals. The College requires that a physician or physician trainee who performs EPP and has tested positive for a BBVI must report their health condition to the Physician Health Monitoring Program.
What is an exposure prone procedure (EPP)?
EPPs are invasive procedures during which transmission of blood borne viral infection such as HBV, HCV or HIV are most likely to occur. Examples of EPPs include the following (note: this is not an extensive list):
a) digital palpation of a needle tip in a body cavity, a hollow space within the body or one of its organs, or the simultaneous presence of the health care workers (HCW) fingers and a needle or other sharp instrument or object in a blind or highly confined anatomic site, e.g., during major abdominal, cardiothoracic, vaginal, and/or orthopedic operations, or
b) repair of major traumatic injuries, or
c) major cutting or removal of an oral or perioral tissue, including tooth structures, during which there is a potential for the patient’s open tissues to be exposed to the blood of an injured HCW.
Related Standards of Practice
- Self Reporting to the College
- Duty to Report a Colleague
- Duty to Report: Physicians treating Physicians as Patients