Disease Transmission When caring for someone, you can be exposed to blood or other potentially infectious body fluids. While the risk of contracting a disease is extremely low, it is prudent to take simple measures to avoid exposure in the first place.
Infectious blood borne diseases include Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Exposure can occur through the direct contact of infectious material with an open wound or sore, or through the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, and eyes.
Exposure can also occur through a skin puncture with a contaminated, sharp object. Universal Precautions Reducing exposure lowers the chance of infection. “Universal Precautions” is an approach that recommends handling all blood and other body substances as if they are infectious.
To be effective, the approach is the same for everyone, regardless of relationship or age. Disposable gloves are the most commonly-used barrier. Make sure there is always a fresh supply of gloves in your first aid kit.
Inspect gloves for damage or tears when you put them on. If damaged, replace them immediately. Always remove contaminated gloves carefully. Never snap them, as this may cause blood to splatter. Even after using gloves, use soap and water to clean your hands and any exposed skin.
Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. If a person requires rescue breaths, use a shield or CPR mask with a one-way valve to minimize direct mouth-to-mouth contact.
A face shield can prevent mouth, nose, and eye exposure when there is a possibility of splashing or spraying. If you don’t have personal protective equipment during a first aid situation, improvise. A towel, plastic bag, or some other barrier can help avoid direct contact.
A provider may elect to not use barriers, depending on his or her relationship to the person and knowledge of the person’s health status.
OSHA Blood borne Pathogens Standard:
In 1991, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released the Blood borne Pathogens Standard to protect workers from the risk of exposure to blood borne infectious diseases. The standard applies to anyone who has occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials and provides information on how to reduce risk of exposure in the workplace.
Employees should review their company’s Exposure Control Plan for site-specific information on how to reduce exposure. More information can be found at www.osha.gov and www.cdc.gov
Latex Allergy Natural rubber latex allergy is a serious medical problem. Anyone who uses latex gloves frequently is at risk for developing it. Simple measures such as the use of non powdered latex gloves or non-latex alternatives can stop the development of latex allergy and new cases of sensitization.
Decontaminating Surfaces Decontaminate all surfaces, equipment, and other contaminated objects as soon as possible.
Clean with a detergent and rinse with water. Use a bleach solution of one quarter cup (.06 liter) of household bleach per one gallon (3.79 liters) of water to sanitize the surface. Spray on the solution and leave it in place for at least 2 minutes before wiping.
If you are exposed to potentially infectious materials on the job, you may request a vaccine for Hepatitis B blood borne disease.
The following materials could contain blood borne pathogens:
If you wear gloves when cleaning up an accident site, it is necessary to wash your hands afterwards.
Blood borne pathogens may enter your system through:
-You should always treat all body fluids as if they are infectious and avoid direct skin contact with them. You should never eat, drink, or smoke in a laboratory or other area where there may be potential exposure to blood borne pathogens.
If you have blood or potentially infectious materials splashed into your eye, you should flush your eye with clean, running water for 15 minutes.
Uncontaminated sharps may not be disposed in regular trash bags. A quarter cup of household bleach to one gallon of water provides a strong enough solution to effectively decontaminate most surfaces, tools, and equipment if left for 10 minutes.
Needles should never be recapped. Blood borne pathogens are infectious materials in blood that can cause disease when transmitted from an infected individual to another individual through blood and certain body fluids.
Blood borne pathogens are capable of causing serious illness and death. The most common illnesses caused by blood borne pathogens are hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) from HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus.
The standard applies to all employees who have occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM).
Employees who provide first aid as part of their job are required to have training on occupational exposure.
Occupational exposure is defined: as"reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane, or parenteral contact with blood or OPIM that may result from the performance of the employee's duties." Blood is defined as human blood, human blood components, and products made from human blood.
Other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) means:
The following human body fluids: semen, vaginal secretions, cerebration fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, any body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, and all body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids;
Any unfixed tissue or organ (other than intact skin) from a human (living or dead) * HIV-containing cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, and HIV- or HBV-containing culture medium or other solutions
*Blood, organs, or other tissues from experimental animals infected with HIV or HBV.
The following references aid in recognizing workplace hazards associated with blood borne pathogens. What is the purpose of OSHA's Blood borne Pathogens standard?The purpose of the standard is to minimize or eliminate occupational exposure to disease-carrying microorganisms or "pathogens" that can be found in human blood and body fluids. Who must be trained under OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens standard?OSHA has mandated annual training is required for all employees with potential occupational exposure. This means if there is a reasonable possibility an employee might be exposed to blood or other potentially infectious bodily fluids, they must receive training to minimize or eliminate their risk to potential exposure. What are the primary blood borne pathogens:The primary blood borne pathogens are: Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Other commonly recognized pathogens transmitted by body fluids include: West Nile Virus Malaria Syphilis
OSHA has determined employers can minimize or even eliminate occupational blood borne hazards by developing and enforcing a combination of exposure control strategies which work for all blood borne diseases. It is not enough for an employer to provide blood borne pathogens training; they must also have a formal exposure control plan documented and implemented.
Training Is Not Enough; An Employer Must Implement A Formal Exposure
Control Plan Note:
There is no such thing as" LOOKS Clean" you may not be able to see what is beneath a surface. But if you treat everything as if it was infectious you are doing a great job.
Always wear your PPE-Personal Protective Equipment as needed. Determine which PPE you may need such as gloves, goggles, mask, gowns, shoe covers, barrier shields etc. Always treat a patient/victim as you would like to be treated no matter what infection they may have, and although you must wear all the PPE.
You are still mandated under hippa to keep their personal information private. As you know being in the health field we are all exposed to bbp daily and we must always remember that everyone deserves dignity and respect matter what diseases or illness that they may or may not have. You must always protect yourself and others from any exposure to Blood Borne Pathogens. Always wash your hands, change your gloves, and never use items from 1 patient to another.