Definitions of Exposures to Blood-borne Pathogens

Policy 670.65

Policy Statement

The following constitute significant exposure to blood or other potentially infectious material (OPIM)*:

  1. Percutaneous (through the skin) exposure by needle-stick or other sharp instrument;
  2. Contamination of a fresh cut (less than two hours old) with blood or other body secretions;
  3. Mucous membrane exposure via splash in mouth or eye;
  4. Human bites that penetrate the skin;
  5. Cutaneous exposure involving large amounts of blood or prolonged contact with blood, especially when the exposed skin is chapped or abraded or afflicted with dermatitis.

*OPIM includes: semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, and any other body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood.

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]
  • 3/17/2020 Reformatted [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 4/26/2022 Policy Edit [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 2/21/2023 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 12/19/2023 Policy Edit [Medical Curriculum Committee]

Policy Oversight

Associate/Assistant Dean for Students

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