Bloodborne pathogens are bacteria or viruses within human blood and bodily fluid, which can cause various diseases in humans. Two of the most well-known diseases are the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which is the virus that can cause AIDS.
Anyone who is required to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, administer first aid, clean up an accident or perform CPR must therefore take the steps to prevent exposure. Find out how to protect yourself against bloodborne pathogens.
Treat or Clean Blood with Caution
Anyone who is required to treat blood or spills must act with caution, as it could potentially be infectious. Regardless of whether you know the victim or not, you must approach all blood as if it is infectious. For this reason, you must always wear personal protective equipment, such as latex gloves, a face shield or a pocket mask.
Protect Yourself First
Eliminate exposure by protecting yourself first before you perform CPR or first aid. Once you are protected, you should then treat the victim. If possible, perform CPR by placing a pocket mask with a one-way valve, so you will not come into contact with any bodily fluids that are potentially infectious.
Contain Spills & Hire the Experts
It is essential to contain any spills as soon as possible, which will prevent others from coming into contact with the fluids. Once the victim has been treated and removed from the scene, we recommend contacting a professional crime scene cleaner to thoroughly decontaminate and sanitize the area.
The Clean Up Process
If you do attempt to clean up the scene yourself, it is important to remove any contaminated glass with forceps, tongs, and a brush and dust pan. It is essential you never use your hands to remove the contaminated materials, and ensure you wear gloves, which you should not remove until the trash has been safely disposed. You should also place all potentially infectious materials into a sealable bag or container. While you should hire professionals to treat bloodborne pathogens, you can decontaminate smaller surfaces using one-part bleach to ten-parts water, which is an effective disinfecting solution.
Thoroughly Wash Your Hands
It is essential to thoroughly wash your hands, or other body parts, with soap and water after you have removed personal protective equipment. You also avoid eating, drinking or smoking in the area until you are 100% confident the bacteria and viruses have been removed from the scene. If you do become exposed to bloodborne pathogens, it is vital to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Bloodborne pathogens can cause a variety of serious diseases, which can significantly affect your life. It is therefore essential to wear personal protective clothing before you touch any contaminated materials, wash your hands after use and thoroughly clean the affected area to prevent exposure to the microorganisms. If in doubt, hire the experts to effectively clean the area on your behalf to create a safe, healthy environment for both you and others.