Universal Precautions

Policy 670.45

Policy Statement

  1. The possibility for transmission of blood-borne pathogens such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C by exposure to blood, body fluids, and body secretions; and the inability to identify all infected patients demands that appropriate protective barrier precautions be used consistently for ALL patients when it is likely that exposure to blood, body fluids, or body secretions may occur.
  2. Body secretions include feces, urine, saliva, draining wounds, vomitus, sputum, semen, and any other body fluid visibly contaminated with blood.
  3. Affiliated health care organizations where students have clinical experiences will have universal precautions and blood-borne pathogen policies and procedures which students will be required to follow. While receiving education at the Larner College of Medicine, students are expected to follow the guidelines stated here. Students are also expected to follow these guidelines while on clinical rotations at affiliated health care organizations, except when an affiliated health care organization’s own procedures for universal precaution and prevention of exposure to blood-borne pathogens directly conflict with them. In any event, students should always take precautions to ensure their safety. Should a student feel that an affiliated hospital’s universal precautions and blood-borne pathogens policies and procedures place them at risk, they should call the Associate/Assistant Dean for Students immediately, at (802) 656-8648.

Applicability of the Policy

All Medical Students

Related Larner College of Medicine Policies

Related University of Vermont Policies

Related Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) Standard(s)

12.8 Student Exposure Policies/Procedures


  • 5/20/2014 Policy Adopted/Affirmed [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 8/20/2019 Gender Neutral Language Edit [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 12/17/2019 Reformatted [Medical Curriculum Committee]

Policy Oversight

Associate/Assistant Dean for Students (Director of Student Well-being)

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