Even though no case of human prion disease is known to have occurred through occupational accident or injury, a number of strategies have been proposed to minimize the theoretical risk of infection:
- Contamination of unbroken skin with internal body fluids or tissue: wash with detergent and abundant quantities of warm water. (avoid scrubbing), rinse, and dry. Brief exposure (1 minute to 0.1N NaOH or a 1:10 dilution of bleach) can be considered for maximum safety.
- Needle sticks or lacerations: gently encourage bleeding; wash (avoid scrubbing) with warm soapy water, rinse, dry and cover with a waterproof dressing. Further treatment (eg, sutures) should be appropriate to the type of injury. Report the injury according to normal procedures for the hospital or health care facility/laboratory.
- Splashes into the eye or mouth: irrigate with either saline (eye) or tap water (mouth); report according to normal procedures for the hospital or health care/laboratory.
- Note: Health and safety guidelines mandate reporting of injuries, and records should be kept for no less than 20 years.