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J Athl Train. 1997 Oct-Dec; 32(4): 320–322.
PMCID: PMC1320348

Exposure of Athletic Trainers to Potentially Infectious Bodily Fluids in the High School Setting

K. Brian Jessee, ATC
K. Brian Jessee is
David A. Middlemas, MA, ATC
David A. Middlemas is Athletic Training Program Director at William Paterson University of New Jersey, Wayne, NJ 07470.
Diane K. Mulder, MS, ATC
Diane K. Mulder is Athletic Trainer at Ferris High School, Jersey City, NJ.
Robb S. Rehberg, ATC, EMT



To examine the incidence of exposure to potentially infectious bodily fluids by athletic trainers in the high school setting in the performance of their daily responsibilities. We also looked at the actions of officials in dealing with athletes with bleeding injuries.

Design and Setting:

Athletic trainer contact with athletes and incidents of exposure to potentially infectious bodily fluids were recorded at 18 high schools in northern New Jersey during the fall 1994 athletic season. The number of times officials removed an athlete from the game or required a change of uniform, or both, was also counted. The data were analyzed with descriptive statistics.


Eighteen athletic trainers and 3537 student-athletes at 18 high schools in northern New Jersey.


Number of contacts with athletes; number of contacts with potentially infectious bodily fluids; age of athlete; sport of athlete; whether the contact was in a practice or game; if in a game, whether the athlete was removed from the game by the official; and whether or not the athlete was required to clean or change the uniform.


Of the athletic trainer contacts with athletes, 4.10% involved potentially infectious bodily fluids. The incidence of exposure to potentially infectious fluids was 12.9% of the athlete contacts. Athletes in game situations were required to change or clean a uniform in 23.7% of the bleeding incidents, and officials removed an athlete from a contest in 1.7% of the game-related bleeding incidents.


Universal precautions and personal protective equipment should be used in the athletic setting. Further study into the application of rules by officials governing the participation of athletes with blood-stained uniforms is needed.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (603K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Buxton BP, Daniell JE, Buxton BH, Okasaki EM, Ho KW. Prevention of hepatitis B virus in athletic training. J Athl Train. 1994 Jun;29(2):107–112. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Whitehill WR, Wright KE. Delphi Study: HIV/AIDS and the Athletic Population. J Athl Train. 1994 Jun;29(2):114–119. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association