Five Steps to Take After Potential Exposure to Blood-Borne Pathogens

Bloodborne pathogens are hazardous microorganisms like viruses and bacteria that have the potential for causing disease and illness in human beings. Indeed, there are bloodborne pathogens that can cause chronic disease or permanent illness. There are bloodborne pathogens that can prove to be fatal. If you find yourself exposed to blood or bodily fluids that you believe may contain a dangerous pathogen, these are five steps you need to take in the aftermath of such exposure. Indeed, if you are exposed to blood or bodily fluids not your own, these steps should be followed. You must err on the side of caution when it comes to contact with another person’s blood or bodily fluids.

Wash Thoroughly With Soap and Water

The first step you must take when you think you’ve possibly been exposed to a bloodborne pathogen is to thoroughly wash any cut, abrasion, needlestick, or even exposed skin that has come into contact with blood, bodily fluids, or other biological matter.

Flush Fully With Water

If you’ve splashed blood or some other bodily fluid into your face – around your nose, eyes, or mouth – thoroughly flush the area with copious amounts of water. The mucous membranes associated with these parts of the body can be portals through which different types of viruses and bacteria may be able to enter a person’s body.

Report in a Public Setting

If you’ve had contact with blood or other bodily fluids in some sort of public venue, you need to report the incident to the management of the business or other types of establishments. There are legal reasons why you need to make this type of notification. If you become infected with some sort of virus or bacterium, the establishment where you had contact with blood or another type of bodily fluid may become responsible for the costs associated with your medical care. In addition, you will want to make sure that the public establishment addresses the presence of blood or other bodily fluids so that no one else is exposed to the biohazard.

Report to Employment Supervisor

If you make contact with blood or other bodily fluids in an employment setting, you need to report this exposure to a designated supervisor. If you end up ill as a result of an infection, you may need to pursue a worker’s compensation claim. The worker’s comp laws in California and across the country have a standard requirement that an injured worker reports an injury – including possible exposure to tainted blood – to his or her supervisor.

Seek Medical Assistance

Any time you are exposed to blood or other bodily fluids in the manner discussed previously, you must seek medical attention. Immediately go to your doctor’s office for an evaluation and to ascertain, what if any steps need to be taken to protect your health and wellbeing. The sooner you make contact with your healthcare provider, the better position you are in to protect your health and welfare. You need to be able to provide as much information to your doctor about the situation surrounding your contact with blood or other bodily fluids to assist that professional in taking appropriate action to protect your health and wellbeing.

How to Contract Bloodborne Pathogens

Now that you’ve considered the five steps you need to take after exposure to blood or other bodily fluids, you need to have a basic understanding of you can contract bloodborne pathogens.

The most common way of contracting a bloodborne virus or bacterium is coming into direct contact with another person’s blood. This can happen during the blood cleanup process, by sharing needles, and by any other activity that brings you into direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids.

You can also contract a bloodborne pathogen in some instances when you come into contact with some type of object that has been contaminated with blood. Finally, there are instances in which a person can contract a virus or bacterium through what is known as respiratory droplet transmission. In other words, in some instances, a virus or bacterium in a blood droplet can be inhaled.

Protection From Bloodborne Pathogens

If you ever face a time when you need to undertake blood cleanup, you must be fully prepared. At the heart of being fully prepared is to ensure that you wear appropriate protective gear. This includes:

  • HEPA Mask or respirator
  • Gloves
  • Apron, smock, disposal uniform
  • Protective goggles

You need to make certain that no one who lacks this protective gear comes into contact with blood. As a precautionary matter, you may want to give serious consideration to hiring a professional blood cleanup company to address a larger spill. A rule of thumb some specialists on infectious disease utilize is the recommendation that a person seeks professional assistance is a particular blood spill is larger than the size of a typical dinner plate.