Blood-borne Pathogens, TB and Universal Precautions. Objectives. Blood-borne disease exposure awareness Self protective measures PPE Exposure Training Effective Infection Control. Introduction.
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Concerns about AIDS can make needle sticks, slips and spills alarming if you work in healthcare. Yet AIDS isn’t the only blood-borne threat you face. In fact, you are more likely to be infected by the hepatitis B virus (HBV), which is just as deadly.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a standard that, if followed, is designed to protect you. It details ways that you and Advanced Tissue can work together to substantially reduce your risk of contracting a Blood-borne disease. You are covered by the standard if it is reasonably anticipated that you could be exposed to Blood-borne pathogens as a result of performing your job duties.
Blood-borne diseases that you are more prone to be exposed to include non-A hepatitis, non-B hepatitis and delta hepatitis, as well as syphilis, malaria and Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The two most significant are hepatitis B (HBV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
HBV may severely damage your liver, leading to cirrhosis and almost certain death.
HIV is transmitted primarily through sexual contact, but may also be transmitted through contact with blood and some body fluids. HIV is not transmitted by touching, feeding or working around anyone who carries the disease.
HBV, HIV and other pathogens may be present in:
Blood-borne pathogens may enter your body and infect you through a variety of means, including:
Contaminated environmental surfaces are a major mode of HBV spread. HBV can survive on environmental surfaces dried and at room temperatures for at least one week. Surfaces and objects can be heavily contaminated without visible signs. Clean and decontaminate all surfaces that had contact with potentially infectious materials with appropriate disinfectants. Refer to policy HME-IC-C-1 on cleaning and disinfecting and policy HME-IC-E-1 on product management and universal precaution.
The risks of Blood-borne diseases in the work place are quite serious. Yet you can learn effective ways of minimizing them. A good place to start is with Advanced Tissue’s Infection Control policies. They cover:
You cannot tell for sure who carries a Blood-borne pathogen. HIV and HBV infect people of all ages and socioeconomic classes are from every state and territory. They are from rural areas as well as cities.
You can’t identify every patient who may transmit infection. Yet you can’t afford not to, since it takes just one exposure to become infected. Universal precautions resolve this uncertainty by requiring you to treat all human body fluids as if they are infected with HIV, HBV or other Blood-borne pathogens.
There are five major ways to reduce your risk of exposure to Blood-borne pathogens on the job:
Alone, none of these approaches are 100% effective. They must be used together, like five protective barriers against infection.
These are physical or mechanical systems Advanced Tissue provides to eliminate hazards at their sources. Examples would be the isolation or removal of Blood-borne pathogen hazards from the workplace.
There are specific procedures you must follow to reduce your exposure to Blood-borne pathogens or infectious materials.
If infectious material gets on your hands, the sooner you wash it off, the less chance you have of becoming infected.
You and Advanced Tissue must follow these rules to ensure that your protective equipment does its job.
Gloves are the most widely used form of PPE. They act as a primary barrier between your hands and Blood-borne pathogens. Latex or vinyl gloves are used for medical, dental or laboratory procedures. Heavy duty utility gloves may be used for housekeeping duties.
Here’s how to use them:
You must follow a safe procedure for glove removal, being careful that no substances from the soiled gloves contact your hands:
These warning signs protect you from Blood-borne hazards:
If you may be exposed to HBV on the job, your employer will make the hepatitis B vaccination available to you at no cost. The vaccine is administered by three injections over a six month period. Today’s vaccines are safe and effective.
You should not be vaccinated if:
Reporting of TB is required by law in all 50 states. All new and suspected TB cases are reported to the appropriate health department immediately.
Additional facts you should know:
It is possible to protect yourself from Blood-borne pathogens on the job by knowing the facts and taking proper precautions. Working together with Advanced Tissue , you can do it. As a healthcare worker, you can be confident in your ability to safely care for the well-being of others and yourself.