Bloodborne pathogens are known as 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 of 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 of 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.
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. To join the American Health Care Academy, check out our online CPR certification courses, including programs in First Aid, CPR, and CPR/AED. Feel free to reach out with questions at any time. We can be reached at 1-888-277-7865.