Bloodborne pathogens are dangerous microorganisms that can cause diseases such as malaria, brucellosis, hepatitis B, and HIV AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). They are transmitted primarily through blood-to-blood contact. They can also be transmitted through contact with certain body fluids such as semen, vaginal discharge, and fluids that surround internal organs and joints. If you are in contact with human blood or potentially infectious body fluids while doing your work assignments, it is important that you know what you should and should not do to prevent or reduce the risk of exposure.
Here are some contributions.
* In an emergency situation, you should be careful to take precautions. Remember to treat all human blood and body fluids as if they are infected and take precautionary measures.
* It is important to minimize exposure through the use of protective equipment. Wear gloves, face shield, masks, and protective clothing while working with blood or infectious materials. Check if the protection gears are working properly. If gloves and other gears are damaged or torn, do not use them.
* After you complete the task, you must remove the protective equipment carefully to avoid self-contamination. You must dispose of them safely in leak-proof bags. Make sure you have sufficient training in the use of protective equipment.
* Wash the exposed area with soap and running water. You can use non-abrasive, antibacterial soap to wash your hands and skin exposed to blood and body fluids.
* If blood is spilled from the mucous membranes, wash your nose, eyes, and mouth for at least fifteen minutes.
* If you have open cuts or sores, cover them with a bandage before handling blood and other body fluids.
* You must clean up spills quickly and safely. It is worth minimizing splashes of contaminated materials. Clean and decontaminate protective equipment and surfaces that come in contact with human blood or body fluids.
* Remember to dispose of needles, sharps and other injection materials used to treat a bleeding victim with care in a labeled puncture-proof container.
* You should report the exposure to your manager as soon as possible.
Not to do
* You should not eat, drink, smoke, or handle contact lenses if your work area has a reasonable chance of being exposed to blood and body fluids.
* Do not store food and beverages in the refrigerator, shelves, cabinets or countertops where blood and other potentially contagious bodily fluids are kept.
* You should not use harsh and abrasive soap to wash your hands.
* Never wash disposable gloves for reuse.
* You should not collect or dispose of contaminated materials without wearing gloves.
* You should not remove needles and sharp objects with your hands. You must use forceps or pliers to remove them.
* You must not break or bend contaminated needles.
* Do not dispose of needles in normal garbage containers.
The dos and don’ts checklist will help you understand how to protect yourself against the health hazards of exposure to blood and potentially infectious materials. Print this list to post on staff bulletin boards and save for staff meetings.