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Bloodborne pathogens are harmful microorganisms. These are found mainly in the human blood. It can cause diseases in the human body system. These pathogens can be transferred between humans by direct contact with the blood of an infected person. Needlestick, Razors, and other sharp objects are other mediums by which a person can contract the disease. Examples of the bloodborne pathogens include but are not limited to Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis C Virus(HCV), and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV).

By the definition given above, one can realize that these bloodborne pathogens can be easily contracted. These can be contracted in the industry, hospital, or any workplace that involves the use of sharp objects regularly. Hence in order to reduce the risk of exposure of employees to these bloodborne pathogens the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has made provisions in the OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030). Here an employer must have plans put in place to prevent exposure of employees with well-coordinated details on Employee protection. The employer’s plan must explain in plain detail. How the workplace would put in place personal protective clothing, hepatitis B vaccinations, medical surveillance, employee training, and the other requirements as stated in the OSHA Blood Borne Pathogen Standard.

If all the requirements of the nationally accepted OSHA standard (29 CFR 1910.1030) are met then the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would offer the company or organization a bloodborne pathogen certification for the control of bloodborne pathogens in the workplace.

HOW TO CONTROL BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS IN THE WORKPLACE:

  1. Contaminated surfaces and equipment should be cleaned and disinfected. The best option for an infected surface or equipment is disposal. In the case whereby the disposal would be detrimental to the workplace then the use of a good disinfectant should suffice.
  2. Employee training. The employees in a workplace should be trained on safety, protective clothing, what to do during an accident, and what to do when exposed to infections. Training the employees would foster a more cautious environment.
  3. Hepatitis B Vaccinations. This is essential for every employee during the first day of resumption into the workplace and regular shots to help strengthen the immune system against the Hepatitis B virus Pathogen.
  4. Follow up on individuals that have been exposed to the workplace.
  5. There should standards for healthcare workers, put in place for contact with patients with open injuries and heavy bleeding to prevent contact with blood.
  6. There should not be eating or drinking in the workplace. The workplace should adopt habits that would reduce exposure of the employees to the bloodborne pathogen.
  7. The use of personal protective equipment such as gloves, overalls should be enforced in the workplace.
  8. Make available Post Exposure Prophylaxis in the workplace. Not just available but also easy to reach in the case of an emergency.

What to do when exposed to Bloodborne pathogens?

  1. Rinse off the exposed body part thoroughly with soap and water.
  2. Report exposure to the relevant authorities so they would administer the proper follow up.

 


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Bloodborne pathogens are known as the microorganisms or bacteria living within the human blood that can also be found in body fluids. These tiny organisms can cause severe illnesses and could eventually lead to death.

Avoiding exposure to bloodborne pathogens is important to prevent the transmission from one person to another. BBPs can be transmitted through parenteral exposure, sexual contacts, and mucous membranes. That is why infected needles can be the source of bloodborne pathogen transmission.

So, how can you prevent this transmission? It is highly advised to clean the BBPs while ensuring your own safety. Below are the following safety tips when cleaning exposed areas:

  • Put on the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Your PPE depends on the level of your exposure to bloodborne pathogens.
  • Use towels that are absorbent in wiping up blood or other blood-containing materials. Since the OSHA’s universal precaution means that you should treat blood and OPIM as if they are infected by bloodborne pathogens, cleaning up the blood in the materials is necessary.
  • Remove any sharp objects by using forceps, tongs, or dustpans and place it in the appropriate container. Note that using your bare hands is very risky because the broken shards might be infected by bloodborne pathogens.
  • Spray disinfectant on the contaminated area. Let it sit for a few minutes afterward. Using disinfectants can kill the bloodborne pathogens present in the contaminated area.
  • Dry the sprayed area with absorbent towels. Just like the second step, absorbent towels are necessary for cleaning the contaminated area.
  • Lastly, dispose the used cleaning materials as well as the personal protective equipment. Make sure you throw them in the designated waste containers. This is the last, yet very important part of cleaning up the bloodborne pathogens. It is a vital act to dispose the used materials and equipment as neglecting to do so may cause an outbreak of bloodborne pathogens as soon as several individuals make contact with it. Putting it in the designated container is also important so others are notified about the dangerous disposed materials.

Key Takeaway

Keeping yourself healthy by avoiding the risk factors of having bloodborne pathogens is indeed an important thing that one should always remember, especially when you are exposed to an environment wherein these dangerous microorganisms are present.

The safety tips mentioned are crucial in cleaning up infected materials to reduce the chance of exposure. To learn more about the proper cleaning of bloodborne pathogens, enroll in the American Health Care Academy’s (AHCA) bloodborne pathogens course. Visit cpraedcourse.com to obtain more information and register for the course.


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