A national, toll-free hotline has been launched to help clinicians treat and counsel health care workers who experience on-the-job exposure to bloodborne diseases such as hepatitis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). At least 5000 needlestick exposures to HIV occur annually in the United States, according the estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The new 24-hour service, called the National Clinicians' Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Hotline, or PEPline, is staffed by trained physicians who will provide clinicians with counseling and treatment recommendations for workers with needlestick injuries and other hazardous occupational exposures to bloodborne microbes.
Stephenson J. Bloodborne Pathogen Hotline. JAMA. 1998;279(3):188. doi:10.1001/jama.279.3.188