Avoiding Needlestick Injuries

How to protect yourself:

Practice universal precautions to prevent transmission of HBV and other bloodborne pathogens, including safe needle handling and the use of gloves. 


Vaccinate all health care workers against HBV, then test for anti-HBs 1-2 months after completion of the vaccination series to confirm protection (anti-HBs level ≥ 10mIU/mL). 


What to do if you are exposed to HBV-infected blood through a needlestick or other sharps injury:

  • If you have already developed immunity from prior vaccination or resolved infection (anti-HBs level ≥ 10mIU/mL), no treatment is necessary

  • If you are unvaccinated, have not completed the 3-shot series, or are unsure of your vaccination status:

    1. Get the HBIG shot (0.06mL/kg) within 24 hours of exposure

    2. Complete the hepatitis B vaccination series on schedule

    3. Test for HBsAg and anti-HBs 1-2 months after the last dose of hepatitis B vaccine