News Dedicated to a Healthy Workplace May/June 2013
Body Substance Exposure Hotline
Workers are exposed to many hazards in the workplace. One of the most disconcerting is exposure to infectious diseases. The risks for workers who come in contact with blood and body fluids include, but are not limited to, Hepatitis B and C, and HIV. The potential for exposure is increasing. Each year in the United States, an estimated 78,000 people become infected with Hepatitis B. There are approximately 25,000 new Hepatitis C infections, with 2.9 million people chronically infected and 40,000 new HIV infections in the U.S. annually.

The good news is that post-exposure prophylactic (PEP) medications, which protect against infections, are available for Hepatitis B and HIV.

There is a place to turn, 24 hours a day, to have a work-related exposure to blood or body fluids assessed. The BJC HealthCare Body Substance Exposure (BSE) Hotline minimizes the time between an exposure and the administration of PEP, thus decreasing the chance of infection. For less serious exposures, it provides workers with a reliable source of information and support to get them through an unsettling, anxious time. The BSE specialist provides counseling and factual information to minimize the exposed worker's fears and to help them make informed decisions.

Within 15 minutes of calling the hotline, a registered nurse trained as a BSE specialist will contact the caller. The BSE specialist talks with the worker about the exposure and the source of the blood or body fluids to assess the seriousness of the situation. A standard protocol is followed to ensure a comprehensive assessment. The BSE specialist works under the direction of an infectious disease physician's orders.

If the exposure warrants PEP treatment, the worker is referred to a nearby clinic or emergency room that stocks the appropriate drugs.

PEP is not recommended for all occupational exposures. Both the risk of infection and the possible side effects of drugs should be carefully considered when deciding whether to take post-exposure treatment. Exposures with a lower infection risk may not be worth the potential side effects associated with these drugs.

The BSE Hotline was created in 1998 to provide support to the employees of BJC HealthCare and was made available to BarnesCare clients in 2000. Since that time, the hotline has grown to cover more than 3,000 area employees in various industries and occupations

To learn more or to arrange for services, email BarnesCare or contact a BJC corporate health consultant at 314.747.5859.

Print This Page

Email to a Friend

Main Page

What CMV Drivers Need to Know About the DOT Medical Examination at BarnesCare

The Importance of Workplace Wellness

Body Substance Exposure Hotline

5000 Manchester Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63110 USA
Subscribe   |   Unsubscribe   |   Archives   |   Contact Us