Blood-borne viruses: managing potential risk in emergency workers

29 October 2019

Article: 53/4302

Public Health England (PHE) has published new guidance for frontline emergency service workers covering prevention and control of exposure to common blood-borne viruses (BBVs). The guidance has been developed to support frontline emergency workers in understanding their potential risk of blood-borne virus (BBV) exposure following injury or assault, and the steps that should be taken to manage and support them by health services, including occupational health. The guidance intends to relieve the stress that such events can bring to staff and dispel the stigma and myths often associated with concerns about transmission of infection. The aim is to provide the highest standard of care to be provided if exposure is thought to have occurred, with care pathways specific to each frontline service.

The guidance, which applies specifically to staff working in the police, fire, ambulance, prison and immigration services, is intended for use at national, regional and local levels, ensuring that staff are effectively supported and educated on the risks of exposure to BBVs.

Source: PHE, 21 October 2019