Testing and Counselling

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Managing BBV Exposure: Source Patient Information Protocol

This document outlines the protocol for obtaining critical information from or about the source patient in cases of potential bloodborne virus (BBV) infection exposure, focusing on diseases such as HIV, HBV, and HCV.

Consent for Testing

  • Information Gathering: A designated doctor must gather information on potential BBV infection indicators from the source patient, including risk factors and previous test results.
  • Informed Consent: The source patient should be asked to provide informed consent for BBV testing, following a comprehensive pre-test discussion.

Consent Process and Compliance

Handled correctly, it is generally found that patients rarely withhold consent for BBV testing.

Health Interest Balancing in Testing

In certain cases, the healthcare professional may need to balance the health interests of the exposed healthcare worker or employee against the source patient's rights, particularly when deciding to test already obtained blood samples for infection evidence.

Guidelines and Justification

  • Adhering to Guidelines: Doctors should refer to the General Medical Council's guidance on serious Communicable Diseases in these situations.
  • Justifying Actions: Any action taken by the doctor must be justifiable and in accordance with established medical and ethical standards.