Do you spend your working day touching people or blood?
If you do, you could be at risk of catching a bloodborne disease. Up to 2.4 million adults in America are chronically infected. If a healthcare worker gets infected with the virus, they could pass it on to a patient.
To reduce the chance of this happening, hospitals now use Body Substance Isolation (BSI) protocols. But not every workplace using protocols have its own dedicated infection control team.
Whether your workplace does or doesn’t, you’re still exposed to pathogenic bacteria. If you’re not sure what these are or why you should care, this article is for you.
Here’s a quick guide on what are bloodborne pathogens and why they matter.
What Are Bloodborne Pathogens?
They can be spread through direct contact with infected blood or body fluids or through indirect contact with contaminated sources such as needles, scalpel blades, and other medical instruments. Examples of bloodborne pathogens include HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and some bacteria such as. Some of these diseases aren’t curable and can have devastating effects, while others can be treated if they are caught in time.
To prevent the spread of these diseases, healthcare workers must follow safety protocols to protect themselves and their patients. This includes the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves, gowns, and eye protection. It is also important to dispose of all medical instruments and needles in appropriate places.
How Do You Stop Them From Spreading?
To prevent the spread of these bacteria, the most important concept is to practice good hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. This will introduce friction and heat that kills a lot of bacteria and viruses.
Be sure to clean and sanitize surfaces in your home or communal areas as well. If your hands are not soiled, you can opt to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol in order to kill any germs.
Additionally, be sure to handle and store food to prevent cross-contamination. Finally, be sure to cook food and avoid contact with any sick people.
How to Handle Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens
The first step is to ensure you are wearing PPE, such as gloves and gowns. This will protect you from direct exposure to any potential contaminants. Secondly, if you come into direct contact with blood, you should cover the area with a clean cloth to prevent any further exposure.
Finally, immediately report the incident to your supervisor, and seek medical attention if necessary. This will help to ensure the situation is handled appropriately and all participants stay safe. Ultimately, when handling bloodborne pathogens, it is imperative to take the necessary precautions and act on them quickly.
Pathogenic Bacteria: Explained
Pathogenic bacteria can cause serious health problems. It is important to practice good hygiene and know how to safely handle and dispose of contaminated materials.
Taking the necessary steps to prevent exposure to bloodborne pathogens can help keep our homes and communities safe. Understanding bloodborne pathogens and taking the necessary steps to protect yourself and your loved ones today!
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