Bloodborne Pathogens: How to Prevent Exposure and What to Do If You’re Exposed

bloodborne pathogens

The germs that cause long infection periods and diseases in the human blood go by the name of bloodborne pathogens. You may face exposure to these dangerous germs in many ways through jobs in healthcare and law. The possibility of infection occurs in different situations like getting cut from a needle that contains bodily fluids, splashes of liquids when drawing blood, and broken skin contact. If you happen to have open skin, the bloodborne pathogens will spread. The practice in these cases is to prevent exposure in the first place. It’s, then, best to follow these guidelines on what to do if you exposed to bloodborne pathogens.

bloodborne pathogens

You must follow these standard procedures with every potential client. It’s safer not to assume, but to expect.

HOW TO PREVENT EXPOSURE FROM BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS:

The best way to prevent germs is creating as sterile an environment as possible. You should use personal protective equipment (PPE) that includes items gloves, masks, and goggles, depending on the exposure type. You must never reuse disposables because they’re no longer clean If these items become stained, remember to remove them as soon as you complete your job.

When you’re done using a needle, make sure to dispose of it in the proper container. These should be labeled in an appropriate manner.

Afterward, clean your work surfaces with germicidal products. You should also keep up-to-date with all your vaccinations.

The most common bloodborne pathogens are Hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The first two cause liver damages and the last one weakens and destroys your immune system.

In a working environment, your employer will most likely offer you an exposure control plan. It’s imperative you follow.

WHAT TO DO IN CASE YOU’RE EXPOSED TO BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS

If it so happens that you become exposed, you must wash the area. You can use soap and clean water on your skin. As for your eyes, you can flush the fluid out with water, saline, or another irritant. You must also call a medical professional and get help right away.

If this occurs during work, you should tell your supervisor. You have protection under OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard that protects you in the case of a tragedy. This pamphlet offers you an in-depth explanation of your employer’s responsibilities and the policies that should be enacted. A second good method to prevent exposure is to take a class that teaches you the standard practices when it comes to bloodborne pathogens.

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