Bloodborne Pathogens: Introduction and Class Outline

One of the classes that I teach in my spare time is a Bloodborne Pathogens class. It is a class that is recommended for dentists, healthcare providers and other professionals who may deal with blood and other bodily fluids on a frequent basis. I created a basic outline to cover the information in class and I thought I would take some time over the next week to share some of the information that I give to students on a regular basis. I am hopeful that a few people can enjoy and possible use this information in your own lives. Over the next few days I will post my home written pretest along with answers.... Enjoy :)

What are Bloodborne Pathogens?

• Microorganisms present in the blood of persons who are infected with them (germs that make people sick)
What are examples of diseases that are caused by bloodborne pathogens?
• Hepatitis B infection -HBV-
Symptoms of Hepatitis – yellowing of skin or whites of the eyes, tired, abdominal pain, gastrointestinal problems including nausea and diarrhea, loss of appetite, damage to liver (can lead to death)
• Hepatitis C infection – HCV- can live in dried blood at least six hours and up to four days. (Hepatitis A is NOT transmitted by blood - it is transmitted by eating)
• Human Immunodeficiency Virus - HIV-, which causes AIDS – extreme tiredness, poor appetite with (rapid) weight loss, fever, swollen glands, etc. (affected person will get other illnesses easier (immunosupression) and can lead to death)

The Goal of this class is to discuss and reduce exposures as well as how to stay safe in environments and situations where exposures are more likely to happen!

How are bloodborne pathogens transmitted?
• By blood-to-blood contact only!
• Not by casual contact such as hugging, shaking hands, sneezing
Which body fluids may contain BBP?
• Human blood, semen
• Not urine, feces, vomit - unless visibly contaminated with blood
What are 'Universal Precautions'?
• You must treat all human blood as though it may contain any bloodborne pathogen... treat all bodily fliuds as if they are none to be infectious.
• You cannot tell if someone is infected by looking at them because many of these diseases do not show symptoms
What are the routes of infection of BBP in the general population or Most Common Forms/Paths of Exposure?
• Sexual contact
• Sharing needles among injecting drug users
• Mother to unborn child
What are the routes of infection of BBP in the workplace?
• Puncture or cut from a contaminated sharp object (needle, broken glass). This is the highest risk!
• Contact with broken skin (cut, hangnail, dermatitis including slight damage from shaving)
• Contact with mucous membranes of eyes, nose, mouth
Make a PACT, Know How to Act!
P - Protect : Protect yourself from blood or blood-containing materials
A - Act : Act quickly and safety
C - Clean : Clean the area that has blood or blood – containing materials
T - Tell : Tell your supervisor about the incident
How can I protect myself at work?
• Wear gloves if you need to touch human blood, used condoms or any item that can be or is suspected to be contaminated.
• Do not pick up needles or syringes with your hands. Use tongs or broom and dustpan.
• Do not use your hands to compress trash (to make more room in the bag). (A good rule is to not put your hands anywhere that you can not see everything they might touch)
• Use disinfectant to wipe up blood.
• Always wash your hands after you remove your gloves.
• Always wash your hands before you eat lunch and before you leave at the end of the day.

What should I do if I am stuck or cut with a contaminated sharp object (such as a needle stick or cut from broken glass, or if I get blood on an open cut, or in my mouth or eyes)?
• Wash the exposed area well
• Follow your companies procedures for notifying your Infection Control manager as set up in your company's Blood Borne Pathogens control guidelines
• Exposure control plan should include
• all job classifications that have chance of exposure to blood
• list of all tasks and procedures through which exposure may occur and are performed by employees
• methods of compliance to protect employees
• procedure for how to review problems

Are there vaccines available to prevent any of these diseases?
• There is a vaccine to prevent Hepatitis B that is given in three shots over a six month period
• You may get them through your physician or local health center or immunization clinic.
• Cost varies- some employers and health insurances will pay for these shots... never hurts to ask. :)

Feedback and comments are welcome! :)

pictures from: http://www.ehow.com/list_6822351_list-bloodborne-pathogens.html, http://www.emsworld.com/article/10320719/borne-free,

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