With some luck, you never encounter a situation in which you face the prospect of cleaning up blood and other bodily fluids. Of course, wishing someone “best of luck” is not foolproof. Odds are that you very well may face a point in life at which you have a situation involving blood and bodily fluid cleanup. Understanding this frank reality, you need to have a basic understanding of how to clean up blood and other types of bodily fluids.
Rule of Thumb Regarding When to Seek Professional Assistance
The first thing you need to bear in mind when it comes to blood and bodily fluid cleanup is that the vast majority of people don’t have the background and experience necessary to undertake this effort in a completely safe and effective manner. In most cases, cleaning up blood, let alone other bodily fluids, involves much more than wiping away liquid.
There is a simple rule of thumb to follow initially when it comes to the cleanup of blood. If the amount of blood that needs to be cleaned up expands over an area larger than a dinner plate, you are wise to seek professional assistance.
The only possible exception to this rule is if the blood at issue is your own. However, if you’ve somehow bled an amount of blood that covers over the space of a dinner plate, you likely have another issue that requires tending to and cleaning is a secondary matter at the moment.
Why Cleaning up Blood and Bodily Fluids Can Be Hazardous to Your Health
Bloodborne pathogens can be harmful, and even fatal. These pathogens can also be found in other bodily fluids and biological material. The most common types of dangerous, infectious bloodborne pathogens in the United States are:
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
There are other types of pathogens, including bacteria and viruses, that are less common in the United States, buy highly dangerous and even deadly.
Secure the Area
The first step you must take when it comes to cleaning the blood and other bodily fluids is to secure the area. Securing the area is exactly what it sounds like. You need to prevent others from accessing the area where the blood and bodily fluids are found. No one should be admitted into the area without proper personal protective gear, which will be discussed in greater detail in a moment.
There is one particular horrific situation in which you must remove yourself immediately and wait for assistance away from the scene. Unfortunately, many times a day, in California and across the United States, the discovery of what is known as an unattended death is made. An unattended death is one in which a person has died in some manner, and the remains were not discovered for what can be a good amount of time. As a result, the body is decomposing, and a myriad of biohazardous materials will be found at the scene. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, you need to leave the room immediately and call 911.
Personal Protective Equipment
When it comes to the cleanup of blood and other bodily fluids, the next step is to ensure the person or persons assigned the task don appropriate personal protective equipment, also known as PPE. The recommended PPE for cleaning up blood and other bodily fluids include:
- Mask or respirator
- Disposable gloves
- Apron, smock, or uniform
A person undertaking the cleanup of blood or other bodily fluids must confirm that all of this PPE is rated or approved for this type of work.
The first step of the overall cleanup process is actually that – cleaning up blood, bodily fluids, and biological material. This must be done thoroughly. These potentially biohazardous substances need to be placed in appropriate receptacles, which include properly identified bags, boxes, or other containers.
Because of the potentially dangerous biohazards that can be found in blood, bodily fluids, and other biological material, the cleanup phase is followed by comprehensive, thorough sanitization. Medical grade chemicals are utilized in to appropriately sanitize the premises. The need for these types of chemicals, the nature of the process itself, underscores the need for professional biohazards remediation.
In many cases, deodorization is a necessary step in the over remediation process. This will particularly be the case if the blood and bodily fluid cleanup occur in the aftermath of the discovery of an unattended death.
The final phase really is the culmination of the preceding three. The ultimate objective is to return to the site of blood and bodily fluid cleanup to a completely safe, habitable space.