5 Ways to Minimize Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens

Some very deadly microbes and disease causing pathogens can enter our blood stream and weaken out internal system. Some are so dangerous that they can cause diseases like Hepatitis B, C and even HIV AIDS. These pathogens are called bloodborne pathogens and can enter healthy bodies through infected human blood and body fluids like mucous, semen and vaginal fluids.

Doctors and other medical staff are at the greatest risk of contracting these pathogens. Medicines do not exist for these diseases and they eventually lead to death. Since there is no cure just yet, the only way to stay healthy is to prevent them from spreading. The article focuses on ways one can prevent the spread and minimize exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Read below to find out more.

• Practice Universal precautions: Universal Precautions are a set of rules and guidelines all hospitals and their staff need to follow. They operate on the underlining principle that “all blood and body fluids from human are contaminated with bloodborne pathogens”. Given this principle, all body fluids have to be handled with care and caution. The universal precautions are a set of guidelines that dictates on how to deal with these fluids.

• Engineering controls and workplace controls must be in place: When around body fluids, there must be certain protocols which must be followed for your own safety. Sterilize all equipment before and after use using autoclaves. What has to be discarded has to be discarded with caution. Use strong, labeled containers to dispose of sharp objects like needles and razors. Never throw them directly into bins. Do not pick up anything broken or sharp without wearing gloves. Always wash hands after removing gloves. Wash hands with a disinfectant if there has been contact with a body matter.

Never eat or drink in places where body fluids are kept or worked with. Do not keep food, water or any such items of consumption in such areas. Do not smoke or wear make up in their vicinity. Take care not to splash fluids around. If there is splashing involved, wear the right gear. If you have any open wounds, cover them before working with the fluids.

• Wear personal protective equipment: All staff in medical institutes must wear personal protective equipment when working with infected body material. The gear must not be damaged in anyway. All employees must be trained to use them properly. The gloves must be disposed off after each use and the rest of the gear must be sterilized for future use. If there is a chance of splashing of blood or fluids, protective eye gear and aprons have to be worn.

• Cleaning and housekeeping: All fluids spills must be cleaned off immediately. All surfaces, rooms and equipment used during medical procedures have to be cleaned and disinfected. The cleaning personnel and janitors must be trained to handle bio medical waste.

• Get all vaccinations: The staff has to be given all the vaccinations before joining service. Timely checkups have to be conducted to make sure everybody is healthy.

Keeping the place free from toxic bloodborne pathogens is important for the health of the staff and the society. Following these norms will keep bloodborne pathogens at bay.