Take care to avoid direct contact with blood or other body fluids and to thoroughly clean and decontaminate anything that does make that contact.
What is a blood-borne pathogen?
- Blood-borne pathogens are disease-causing microorganisms in blood and other body fluids.
- HIV is a blood-borne pathogen that causes AIDS and destroys the immune system, preventing the body from fighting disease.
- HBV, or Hepatitis B, is a blood-borne pathogen that infects the liver and can lead to such problems as cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Universal Precautions: Treat all blood and body fluids as if they are infectious.
Universal Precautions to Prevent Possibly Infectious Contact
- Wear gloves if there’s a risk of direct contact with body fluids or with possibly contaminated items or surfaces.
- Bandage cuts or broken skin before putting on gloves.
- Wear eye and face protection if there’s a risk of blood splashes or sprays.
- Wear protective clothing if there’s a risk of contact with body fluids.
- Wash hands and exposed skin carefully with soap and water after exposure.
- Flush eyes, nose, or mouth with water as soon as possible after contact with blood or potentially infectious materials.
- Don’t eat, drink, smoke, apply cosmetics, or handle contact lenses in areas that could contain infectious materials.
Avoid Direct Contact with Sharp Objects
- Don’t shear, break, or bend needles.
- Don’t reach your hand into a container that might contain sharps.
- Use tongs or a similar tool, not your hands, to clean up broken glass.
Use Precautions Around Contaminated Materials and Surfaces
- Prompt and proper cleaning and decontamination of equipment or surfaces that have had contact with blood or potentially infectious materials.
- Wearing gloves and using leak-proof transport containers to handle laundry that may have had contact with blood or other potentially infectious fluids.