Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne Pathogens
The purpose of this program is to reduce or eliminate occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials to employees.

All bodily fluids will be considered infectious regardless of the perceived status of the source individual. Procedures for providing first aid and decontaminating/sanitizing contaminated areas will duplicate those developed and used by the health industry.

Potential High Risk Areas
University police, athletic trainers, plumbers, campus recreation staff, and accident investigators have been designated as potential high risk areas for bloodborne pathogen exposure due to the nature of their jobs.

– The virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Hepatitis B – An infection of the liver that is caused by a DNA virus, it is transmitted by contaminated blood or blood derivatives in transfusions, by sexual contact with an infected person, or by the use of contaminated needles and instruments. The disease has a long incubation (30-180 days) and symptoms that may become severe or chronic, causing serious damage to the liver. Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, low grade fever, joint pain, sore throat, etc.
Hepatitis C – An infection of the liver that is caused by an RNA virus, it is transmitted primarily by blood and blood products, as in blood transfusions or intravenous drug use, and sometimes through sexual contact.
Other Potentially Infectious Materials- semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, and any other fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, and all body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate body fluids.

3 Main Control Methods
Universal Precautions – refers to a method of infection control in which all human body and other potentially infectious materials are treated as if known to be infected for HBV and HIV. This concept emphasizes that all people treated by faculty, staff, and students should be assumed to be infectious for HIV and other bloodborne pathogens.
Engineering Controls – controls that isolate or remove the bloodborne pathogens hazard from the workplace. Examples of this would be sharps disposal containers, self sheathing needles, resuscitation bags, and ventilation devices. No longer are we doing mouth to mouth CPR.
Work Practice Controls –controls that reduce the likelihood of exposure by altering the manner in which a task is performed. Examples would be hand washing immediately after removing gloves; applying cosmetics or lip balm; handling contact lenses; decontaminating equipment, or labeling it as contaminated so that no one else comes by and picks it up.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
• Employers must make available and employees must use personal protective equipment (PPE) when the possibility of exposure to blood or other infectious materials exists.
• Employees must be trained in the use of PPE.
• PPE must be accessible and clean.
• Disposable gloves must be replaced as soon as they are torn or punctured.
• Eye protection must be worn if there is a chance for a splash to occur. If someone has a laceration, that blood is spurting out of, eye protection is needed so that it does not get into your tear duct.
• The level of protection required is dependent upon the task at hand.

Tags, Labels, and Bags
• Tags that comply with 29CFR 1910.145 (f) shall be used to identify the presence of an actual or potential biological hazard.
• Again, if unknown treat as infectious.
• Tags shall contain the word “BIOHAZARD” or the biological hazard symbol and state the specific hazardous condition or the instructions to be communicated to faculty, staff and students.
• The word and message shall be understandable to all faculty, staff and students who may be exposed to the identified hazard.
• Labels/Tags may be an integral part of the container or affixed as close as safely possible to their respective hazards by string, wire, or adhesive to prevent their loss or unintentional removal.
• Red bags or red containers (orange-red) may be substituted for labels on containers of infectious waste.

Hepatitis B Vaccine
• Must be offered at no cost to all high-risk personnel
• Vaccine consist of a series of three injections over six (6) months
• The vaccine is about 85% to 97% effective
• Common side effects include soreness, swelling and redness at the injection site
• Any time after an employee initially declines to receive the vaccine, he or she may opt to take it

Precautions You Can Take
• Wash hands immediately after contact with blood or other potential infectious materials. Hopefully, this would be accidental contact. Should have gloves on if  you are aware of the potential hazard.
• Disinfect all surfaces soiled with blood or other potential infectious materials.
• Always wear gloves when cleaning areas contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials.
• When picking up broken glass, use a broom and dust pan. Never pick up broken glass with hands.
• Be careful of sharp objects when emptying trash bins.

NOTE: Hepatitis B Virus can survive outside the body at least 7 days. During that time, the virus can still cause infection if it enters the body of a person who is not infected. This is why it is so important to clean and disinfect a site where blood or other bodily fluids are present.

Housekeeping Precautions
• Wash hands as soon as possible after contamination and after removing gloves.
• Clean and decontaminate equipment and surfaces that had contact with infectious materials.
• Do not handle items such as pens or door handles while wearing contaminated gloves.

When an Exposure Occurs
• Report the exposure incident to a supervisor and seek medical attention immediately.
• Wash exposed area with soap and water.
• Flush splashes to nose, mouth, or skin with water.
• Irrigate eyes with water or saline.
• Notify the Environmental Health & Safety Office.
• Also, post exposure follow-up care will be provided.

Cleaning of Blood Spills
• All blood spills, including those already dried, should be cleaned with a mixture of bleach and H20 (1 part household bleach to 10 parts water).
• Notify Brian Clausen at 985-387-0058 with Environmental Health & Safety for biohazard clean up.