Emergency Instructions for Weill Cornell Medical and Graduate Students Enrolled in Student Health Services (SHS)
- For life-threatening emergencies, call 911 and/or go directly to the nearest emergency department. Notify SHS the next possible business day to assist with coordinating follow-up.
- If you or a friend have an immediate concern about suicide, call our Student Mental Health Program: (212) 746-5775. You may also call the suicide hotline: (800) 273-8255 [(800) 273-TALK], or walk yourself or your friend to the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Emergency Department.
- If you have experienced a sexual assault, or a non-sexual assault with possible blood/infectious body fluid exposure, go immediately to the emergency department for evidence collection and possible post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV – ideally begun as soon as possible after exposure. Please call (646) 962-6942 to report the situation to SHS or the clinician on call, so that we may assist you with follow-up.
- If you have an occupational blood/infectious body fluid exposure, please refer to Blood-Borne Pathogen Exposures, below.
- If you have a chemical exposure, please refer to Chemical Exposures, below.
- Emergency Department care is subject to your health insurance plan’s deductibles and co-pays. If you are enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan and are referred to another physician for follow-up from the emergency department, we advise you to follow up at SHS first to ensure that the recommended physician is in your insurance network.
- For all other emergencies after hours, call (646) 962-6942 to be connected with an on-call clinician who can provide you with advice and instructions. You will be advised if there is no on-call clinician available, at which time you can follow one of the options above, or follow up with SHS during normal business hours.
Emergency Instructions for Visiting Students
Visiting students do not have access to Weill Cornell Medicine Student Health Services. In the event of a true emergency, they should call 911 and/or report to the nearest emergency department for care. They should contact their home institution for additional instructions.
Blood-Borne Pathogen Exposures
All puncture wounds and other exposures to blood and body fluids should be reported immediately to Student Health Services or to the NYP/WCM Medical Center Emergency Department.
This policy applies to all matriculated students at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Graduate School of Medical Sciences.
An exposure is defined as contact by: (1) needle stick or sharp puncture wound, (2) open cut, burn or abrasion contaminated by body fluids or tissues (blood, blood products, bloody fluids, semen, CSF, amniotic fluid, menstrual discharge, pleural, peritoneal, pericardial fluid, inflammatory exudates, and any other body fluid or tissue contaminated with blood), or (3) splash to mucous membranes (e.g., eye or mouth) with such materials.
In the event of a needle stick or body fluid exposure, follow these steps immediately:
- Cleanse the injury with soap and water, or flush mucous membranes with water/saline.
- Inform your supervising resident, preceptor or attending to arrange prompt counseling and testing of the source patient for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
- Let your resident, preceptor or attending know you are expected to receive immediate medical attention after an incident. Obtain and bring source patient information with you.
- During business days, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., report to Weill Cornell Medicine Student Health Services.
- If SHS is closed, report to the NYP/WCM Emergency Department for initial evaluation, and follow up at SHS the next business day.
- If you are at a local campus affiliate (eg. NYHQ, Lincoln, Methodist, Brooklyn Hospital, MSKCC, HSS) observe local reporting procedures to expedite source testing. You must still report to SHS for evaluation, management and reporting. Taxi receipts for local travel will be reimbursed.
- If you are at an away rotation, follow the requirements of the visiting institution or report to the nearest emergency department, and report the incident on your return to campus.
Additional instructions will be provided by SHS after initial evaluation.
Students are advised to carry their health insurance cards at all times.
WCGSMS students working in a Weill Cornell Medicine laboratory where there is a spill or chemical exposure should observe the following steps:
Exposure and Injury Response
- Get help from a nearby coworker! For emergencies, seek medical assistance.
First Aid and Decontamination
- Remove all contaminated clothing and jewelry.
- Biological/Radiological Skin Exposure: Wash with soap and water for five minutes.
- Eye Exposure: Flush with eyewash for 15 minutes.
- Chemical Exposure: Flush with eyewash or safety shower for 15 minutes.
- Inhalation/Ingestion: Seek medical assistance immediately.
Seek Medical Assistance
- If you are seriously injured, incapacitated or need onsite medical assistance: call NYP EMS: (212) 472-2222 and say: "I work for the Weill Cornell Medical College. I need onsite emergency medical assistance at the Weill Cornell Medical College laboratory." Provide lab location, hazardous material involved, and extent of exposure/injury, or go to the NYP Emergency Room.
- Minor injury/exposures: Go to Student Health Services after calling (646) 962-6942. During off hours, go to the NYP Emergency Room.
- Bring a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) when obtaining medical assistance for chemical exposure.
- Notify supervisor and contact EHS at 646-962-7233. (646-WMC-SAFE)
Spill Clean–Up and Response
If spill involves injury or represents a fire/health hazard:
- Alert / Evacuate: Immediately alert area occupants and evacuate the area. Close all doors leading to the affected area and do not re-enter. Restrict access to the area.
- Report: Notify your supervisor and EHS of the spill, and be prepared to give information about any exposure or injury, spill location, name and amount of material(s) spilled.
Lab staff can clean up other spills.
If you are at a non-WCMC lab (i.e. Sloan Kettering or Rockefeller), observe the facility's emergency procedures, and follow up at SHS for incident reporting.