Concern about exposure to BBV can make some practitioners wary about working with young people known to have a BBV. There are very effective measures that practitioners can take to mitigate any risk.
All practitioners are advised to keep hepatitis B vaccinations current. A vaccination for Hepatitis A is also available.
Following universal precautions
Universal precaution are the minimum level of infection control required to prevent transmission of HIV, HBV and HCV. These include practices such as hand-washing, use of gloves, protective eye wear, safe disposal systems for sharps and contaminated matter and environmental controls. Wear waterproof dressings over cuts and grazes. Use protective clothing if blood splash predicted.
Teaching safe handling and disposal techniques to young people (and practice them yourself!)
Do not re-sheath needles. Dispose of sharps/needles as per your agency’s policy (preferably in specialized sharps containers with a one way lid fixed to the wall at a safe working height.
In the event of accidental exposure.
Every agency will have a policy outlining what to do in the event of an exposure to a BBV (ie: in the event of a needle stick injury). Post exposure prophylaxis is a course of treatment that can be delivered immediately after initial exposure to prevent infection.