Not everyone knows what Bloodborne Pathogens are, or that they can change our lives tremendously if we don't take the preventative measures to protect ourselves from them. So what exactly are Bloodborne Pathogens? BBPs are infectious microorganisms in human blood that can cause disease in humans. Some examples of some BBPs are HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, West Nile Virus, Malaria, and Ebola.
There are several ways BBPs can be transmitted. The first method of transmission is by direct contact. This is when infected blood or OPIMs (other potentially infectious materials) from one person enters another person's body at an entry site. An example would be when infected blood splashes into an eye. The second method of transmission is by indirect contact. This is when a person's skin touches an object that contains blood or OPIMs of a person that's infected, such as picking up soiled bandages. The third method of transmission is when a person inhales droplets from an infected person, such as through a cough or a sneeze. The fourth method of transmission is called vector-borne transmission. This is when a person's skin is penetrated by an infectious source, such as an insect bite.
There are many things you can do to prevent contracting Bloodborne Pathogens.
- Avoid contact with blood and other potentially infectious materials
- Always wear PPE such as gloves whenever there is a possibility of coming in contact with blood or other body fluids
- Cover any cuts, scrapes or sores before wearing disposable gloves
- Change gloves before providing care to a different victim
- Properly remove gloves to avoid contact with the soiled part of the gloves and dispose of them properly
- Thoroughly wash your hands (face and arms as well if needed)
- Use mosquito-bite prevention techniques such as spraying yourself with insect repellant or wear long sleeves and pants
- Use work practice controls such as cleaning soiled surfaces with a bleach and water solution (1:10) and leave on the affected area for at least 10 minutes
- Have a sharps container available to immediately dispose of sharp objects including needles
- Scrub soiled boots and shoes with soap, hot water and a brush. Wash uniforms and clothing according to the manufacturer's instructions
Some BBPs are curable but there are also many that are not. Taking the proper precautions and preventative measures can ensure that you stay healthy and Bloodborne Pathogen FREE!
DiVal Safety provides Bloodborne Pathogen training! Contact our Training Coordinator Judy Trent at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-343-1354 x3153 to schedule training at your workplace. We also offer a wide variety of products to help you stay safe on and off the job. Click HERE to get your safety gear today!