Why Is Cleaning Up Blood Dangerous?

Different types of bloodborne pathogens render the process of cleaning up this type of bodily fluid potentially dangerous, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Indeed, the CDC provides significant resources addressing blood safety, including safe cleanup practices associated with blood.

Common Bloodborne Pathogens

There are a trio of dangerous bloodborne pathogens that are most common. These are:

  • HIV
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C

HIV

HIV generally is considered to be a sexually transmitted infection, according to the Mayo Clinic. With that said, it can be transmitted outside an occasion of sexual activity when a person has direct contact with HIV contaminated blood.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a bloodborne virus that can cause a serious liver infection.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is also a bloodborne virus that can cause a serious liver infection.

Other less common, but highly dangerous, bloodborne pathogens include:

  • Human T-Lymphotropic virus
  • Syphilis
  • West Nile virus

In addition to these pathogens, blood may also contain different types of dangerous bacteria. This particularly is the case if blood is associated with an unattended death, with the remains of person that suffered a traumatic death but was not promptly discovered. Bacteria can be present in this type of situation within a short time after a person dies in a traumatic manner.

Blood Cleanup Safety Gear

Due to the potentially dangerous nature of blood, if you a person involved in blood cleanup must have proper gear:

  • Disposable gloves
  • Protective gown
  • Protective cap
  • Mask
  • Eye protection

Blood Cleanup on Carpeted Floors

Blood cleanup on carpeted floors presents particular challenges. Indeed, this represents one of the most difficult types of blood cleanup scenarios because of the absorbent nature of carpeting.

The steps involved in blood cleanup on carpeted floors are:

  • Put on proper safety gear
  • Secure the area immediately
  • When possible, work quickly (blood can harden as well as absorb deeply into carpet in a short period of time)
  • Use appropriate cleaning and sanitizing products that possess effective antimicrobial properties
  • Steam clean carpet
  • Consider removing and properly disposing of carpeting, following biohazard disposal protocols

Blood Cleanup on Hard Floors

The blood cleanup process is a bit easier on hard floors, although no less dangerous. Hard floors include:

  • Tile
  • Ceramic
  • Vinyl
  • Linoleum
  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Cement
  • Other (generally) non-absorbent flooring

The steps involved in blood cleanup on hard floors are:

  • Put on proper safety gear
  • Secure the area immediately
  • Wipe up as much of the blood spill as possible
  • Make sure materials used to mop up spill are disposed of properly
  • Slowly pour bleach solution onto blood spill zone (1 part bleach to 9 parts water)
  • Allow solution to remain on spill zone for 20 minutes
  • Wipe up bleach solution and dispose of mopping materials properly

Blood Cleanup on Furniture

Blood cleanup on furniture mimics what is done on flooring. The course to take when it comes to blood cleanup on furniture depends on whether fabric or hard surfaces on involved. Many items of furniture contain both elements.

Blood Cleanup in a Pool

If a pool is properly maintained, and the amount of blood that enters the water is not tremendous, nothing needs to be done in the way of blood cleanup. The chemicals in the pool water, specifically the chlorine, addresses the issue. The CDC reports that there has never been a report of a person contracting a bloodborne pathogen as the result of exposure to contaminated blood in pool water. Some people do temporarily close a pool in which blood spilled in the interests of allaying fears of other individuals, although there is no evidence that this is necessary.

Professional Blood Cleanup Assistance

Due to the hazardous nature of the blood cleanup process, retaining the professional assistance of a blood cleanup service is advisable. This is the case when anything beyond a small amount of blood is involved. This definitely is the case if blood is associated with some sort of traumatic death that was not immediately discovered.

biohazard remediation service has the necessary protective gear as well as cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing supplies to safely and effectively address a blood cleanup situation. In addition, a professional is able to ensure that all blood is removed, and the space is fully sanitized. This is important because any remnant of contamination can expose people to hazardous materials into the future. Proper cleanup, sanitization, and deodorization is vital in order to ensure that a space where an incident occurred that resulted in the release of blood is habitable in the future.