Medical Board takes precautions against infected
The New South Wales Medical Board has adopted a Board Policy Statement to
lessen the risk of practitioners transmitting HIV and other blood borne viruses
to patients. Because the definition of exposure-prone procedures continues to
evolve, the Board will review its statement within 12 months.
The Statement sets forth the following practice guidelines:
- Basic infection control procedures must be used whenever patients are
examined and treated (use of sterilization, disinfection, proper management of
- "Exposure-prone procedures" are characterized by the potential
for direct contact between the skin of the health care worker and sharp surgical
instruments, needles, or sharp tissues (bones or teeth) in body cavities or in
poorly visualized or confined body sites (including the mouth).
- Any practitioner performing exposure-prone procedures should be tested for
HIV and other blood-borne infections yearly.
- If a practitioner is infected with a blood borne virus, he or she must
refrain from exposure-prone procedures, but may continue to practice if not
- Although mandatory reporting to the Board of the impaired practitioner's
condition is not required, anyone aware of a practitioner who places the public
at risk has a professional responsibility to notify the Director-General of
Health [source: Federation Bulletin, 84:1 (1997): 65].