WHAT ARE BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS?

Bloodborne pathogens are disease-causing microorganisms present in human blood or other potentially infectious materials. Examples of bloodborne pathogens include HIV, hepatitis A, B and C, and other blood infections. The greatest risks to workers are from HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

PROTECTING YOURSELF

  • Treat all blood and potentially infectious materials as if they are contaminated with a bloodborne pathogen
  • Make sure you are up to date on the hepatitis B vaccine
  • Wear latex gloves and a disposable respirator mask when providing care
  • Apply a bandage to any open wounds immediately
  • Avoid touching the outside of gloves with bare skin by turning them inside out when removing
  • Wash your hands and exposed areas with soap after exposure
  • Place all sharp objects in the appropriate container after use
  • Avoid eating or drinking food in an exposure area

IF YOU ARE EXPOSED

  1. Immediately wash the exposed skin with soap and water
  2. Do not use scrubs or soaps that can open sores or scabs
  3. Flush all body openings that came in contact with infectious materials with water
  4. Remove any contaminated clothing
  5. Report the incident to your supervisor immediately
  6. Allow your employer to schedule a blood test with your consent to determine if you’ve been infected with a bloodborne pathogen