New Medical Board guidelines for practitioners on blood-borne viruses

13 August 2020

New guidelines on blood-borne viruses came into effect on 6 July 2020 that require declarations to be made at registration and renewal of registration with the Medical Board.

New guidelines on blood-borne viruses came into effect on 6 July 2020. At registration and renewal of registration, practitioners who perform exposure-prone procedures will have to declare that they comply with the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) guidelines Australian national guidelines for the management of healthcare workers living with blood borne viruses and healthcare workers who perform exposure prone procedures at risk of exposure to blood borne viruses.

Exposure prone procedures (EPPs) are procedures where there is a risk of injury to the practitioner resulting in exposure of the patient’s open tissues to the blood of the practitioner.

In general, procedures performed by anaesthesia and pain medicine specialists are done with hands/fingers visible. Nonetheless, the manipulation of intraoral devices would be considered an EPP by the definition in the CDNA guidelines.

Among other things, the CDNA guidelines recommend that practitioners who perform exposure-prone procedures take reasonable steps to know their blood-borne virus status and should be tested for blood-borne viruses at least once every three years.

The board will not ask for test results for the purposes of registration or renewal of registration but can take action if a practitioner makes a false declaration.

Practitioners who want further information about the classification of exposure-prone procedures and non exposure-prone procedures can view guidance here.

Last updated 12:27 23.03.2021