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Bloodborne Pathogens. Basic Principles. Bloodborne Pathogens. A bloodborne pathogen is a microorganism such as a virus or bacteria that is carried in most body fluids and can cause a variety of diseases in people. Bloodborne Pathogens. They include: Malaria, Syphilis, Brucellosis,

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bloodborne pathogens

Bloodborne Pathogens

Basic Principles


Bloodborne Pathogens

A bloodborne pathogen is a microorganism such as a virus or bacteria that is carried in most body fluids and can cause a variety of diseases in people.

bloodborne pathogens1
Bloodborne Pathogens

They include:

  • Malaria,
  • Syphilis,
  • Brucellosis,
  • Hepatitis B & C(HBV, HCV), and
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

Hepatitis B and C(HBV and HCV)

  • About 300,000 people are infected with HBV or HCV each year worldwide.
  • Hepatitis infects the liver first.
  • Hepatitis is normally transmitted through "blood to blood" contact.
  • Hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer and death.

Because of this, these viruses are a primary concern for housekeepers, custodians, and laundry personnel in motels, hotels, dry cleaners, laundries and schools.

Hepatitis viruses can survive in dried blood up to 7 days.


Symptoms of Hepatitis:

Mild flu-like symptoms: fatigue, stomach pain, loss of appetite, and nausea.

Hepatitis infected people may not show symptoms for 1-9 months.


Human Immunodeficiency

Virus (HIV)

  • AIDS - Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is caused by HIV. They are not the same.
  • HIV attacks the body's immune system, weakening it so that it cannot fight other deadly diseases.
  • AIDS is a fatal disease. While treatment for it is improving, there is no known cure.

Symptoms of HIV:

Symptoms of HIV infection include weakness, fever, sore throat, nausea, headaches, diarrhea, a white coating on the tongue, weight loss, and swollen lymph glands.


HBV, HCV and HIV are transmitted through:

  • Sexual Contact
  • Sharing of infected needles
  • From mothers to their babies at or before birth
  • Accidental puncture from contaminated needles, broken glass, or other sharps
  • Contact between broken or damaged skin and infected body fluids
  • Contact between mucous membranes and infected body fluids

Skin forms an impervious barrier against bloodborne pathogens.

However, infected blood can enter your system through:

  • Open sores
  • Cuts
  • Abrasions
  • Acne
  • Any broken skin: sunburn or blisters

Mucous Membranes

Bloodborne pathogens can also be transmitted through the mucous membranes of the:

  • Nose
  • Mouth
  • Eyes

Universal Precautions

Treat all blood, body fluids and potentially infectious materials as if they are infectious!

personal protective equipment ppe
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Always wear PPE in exposure situations.
  • Remove and replace PPE that is torn or punctured.
  • Remove PPE before leaving the work area.

Rules to follow:



  • Should be made of latex, nitrile, rubber or other water-impervious materials.
  • Double glove if you feel more comfortable doing so.
  • Cover cuts or sores on your hands with a bandage before putting on your gloves.
  • Inspect your gloves for tears or punctures.
  • If a glove is damaged, don't use it!
  • Use proper procedure when taking gloves off. Don't touch the outside of the gloves.
  • Dispose of them properly.


Check your gloves for damagebefore using them.

  • Anytime there is a risk of splashing of contaminated fluids, goggles and/or other eye protection should be used to protect your eyes.
  • Splashing could occur while cleaning up a spill, during laboratory procedures, or while providing first aid or medical assistance.
face shields
Face Shields
  • Face shields can be worn in addition to goggles to provide additional face protection.
  • A face shield will protect against splashes to the nose and mouth.

Aprons can be worn to protect your clothing and to keep blood or other contaminated fluids from soaking through to your skin.

hygiene practices
Hygiene Practices
  • Handwashing is one of the most important (and easiest) practices used to prevent transmission of bloodborne pathogens.
  • Hands should also be washed immediately (or as soon as feasible) after removal of gloves or other personal protective equipment.
when in an area where there is a reasonable likelihood of exposure you should never
When in an area where there is a reasonable likelihood of exposure, You should never:
  • Eat
  • Drink
  • Smoke
  • Apply cosmetics or lip balm
  • Handle contact lenses
decontamination and sterilization
Decontamination and Sterilization

Clean and decontaminate all equipment before servicing or putting back into use.

Decontamination can be done by using a solution of 5.25% bleach diluted between 1% and 10% bleach to water. Remember, just use at least a quarter cup of bleach to each gallon of water.

  • Protect yourself - on and off the job - know the facts
  • Practice good personal hygiene
  • Follow work rules, use gloves and protective clothing
  • Wash your hands often, after work or exposure
  • Keep areas clean - report problems immediately to supervisors