Students Infected with Bloodborne Pathogens

Authorizing Body: Office of the Dean

Primary Author: Robert J. McAuley, Ph.D.

Date Issued: September 16, 2019

Rationale: This guideline provides a mechanism for maintaining patient safety and establishing reasonable accommodation, confidentiality, and respect for a student who is a carrier of, or has, a bloodborne infection that poses a risk to patients and other healthcare providers.   

Scope: All students enrolled in the School of Medicine

Standard Practice Guideline


Medical students infected with one or more bloodborne pathogens that pose a risk to patients and other healthcare providers must notify the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and are not to perform exposure-prone procedures without guidance from an Expert Review Panel. 

When a student discloses this type of disease or disability, OUWB will review the student’s circumstances in a manner compliant with applicable laws, regulations, and recommendations from authoritative agencies on the practice of health care workers with communicable infectious diseases (e.g. HIV, HCV, HBV, etc.). OUWB will work to provide a student with a bloodborne pathogen with reasonable accommodations as with any other illness or disability. 

This review will be conducted by an Expert Review Panel which will include the Beaumont Medical Director of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection and Control, Oakland University Graham Health Center and Oakland University Office of Disability Student Services.  The Expert Review Panel will determine any restrictions on the student’s activities in the healthcare environment; develop an educational program that meets the requirements of the academic program, and ensure that the student meets the OUWB Technical Standards with appropriate reasonable accommodations. 

The record of the review and any recommended accommodations will be managed in a manner that is consistent with FERPA and HIPPA requirements.

The decision of the expert review panel is final.

OUWB may limit the clinical experiences of a medical student infected with a bloodborne pathogen (e.g. HIV, HCV or HBV) when 

  • there is evidence to suggest that the student poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others and /or 
  • the direct threat cannot be eliminated or reduced to a medically acceptable level with reasonable accommodations. 

OUWB does not discriminate against HIV or Hepatis infected persons. Any discrimination should be reported as specified in the Oakland University Discrimination policy or the OUWB Student Mistreatment Guideline.

Related Policies and Guidelines 

Assessing Students with Environmental Difficulties

Disability Accommodations


Reporting Incidents of Mistreatment, Harassment or Acts of Discrimination


Reasonable Accommodations are adjustments or modifications to practices, guidelines, or procedures that do not fundamentally alter the nature of the medical education program or place an undue burden on the institution(s).  

Current examples of exposure prone procedures include those procedures in which the blood of a HCW could be introduced into a body cavity, tissue or blood vessel or contact non-intact skin of a patient. Examples of these procedures may include but are not limited to:

  • Open Abdominal Surgery (any)
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery (any, including open lung bx or resection)
  • Open Spine Surgery
  • Obstetric/Gynecologic Surgery (any open procedure and those involving hand guided sharps also to include forceps delivery, cone biopsy, scalp electrode placement or administration of local anesthesia to cervix)
  • Open Orthopedic Procedures
  • Plastic Surgery (major cosmetic procedures including breast reduction, abdominoplasty or thigh plasty)
  • Transplantation Surgery
  • Trauma Surgery including Ophthalmic Trauma
  • Open surgical procedures> 3 hours duration in which glove change is anticipated or routinely performed