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Blood and Body Exposure

Emergency Response Protocol

Blood and body fluids may contain pathogens such as Hepatitis B virus (HBV), Hepatitis C virus (HCV) or Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). If you have been exposed to:

  • A needlestick or cut from a used needle or sharp object contaminated with blood/body fluid.
  • A splash of blood/body fluid onto broken skin (open cut, sore or rash) or,
  • A splash of blood/body fluid into mouth, nose or eyes.

Care must be taken to prevent accidental puncture wounds and abrasions to the Personal Service Worker (PSW) and clients from needles, razors, glassware or other instruments not intended to pierce the skin. Should such an incident occur: Follow these instructions:

  1. Wear single use gloves prior to handling or dressing the wound.
  2. Wash the exposed skin surface with water and soap. If the area is bleeding, allow it to bleed freely.
  3. After cleaning the wound, apply a skin antiseptic and cover with a clean dressing or bandage.
  4. If there has been a splash on to a mucous membrane (eye, nose, mouth), flush the area thoroughly with water.
  5. The person exposed must immediately contact a physician for assessment of the need to receive post-exposure treatment or prophylaxis.
  6. A record of the incident must be kept on site for a minimum of one year, and on file for 5 years, and include: a. Name (first and last), complete mailing address and phone number of the person exposed. b. Name of PSW (first and last) involved in the incident. c. Date of injury and site of injury. d. Circumstances surrounding the injury and action taken.

Cleaning Work Surfaces Contaminated with Blood or Any Other Body Fluid

(Surfaces such as counter tops, sinks, faucets, toilets, handles, phones, benches, chairs or floors)

  1. Wear single use gloves. Clean the surface with soap and water and thoroughly rinse with clean water, as soon as possible. Care must be taken to avoid contaminating clothing and splashing of eye, nose, mouth during the cleanup.
  2. Disinfect the equipment or area using the appropriate level of disinfection, ensuring adequate contact time. See page 47 of Best Practices document or the Infection Control Practices Fact Sheet (listing various disinfectants and recommended contact times)
  3. Cloths used for wiping up of blood or body fluids and single use gloves should be disposed of by placing them in a sealed plastic bag and then in the regular garbage.
  4. Ensure to wash your hands.

Immunization to protect against Hepatitis B is strongly recommended for all Personal Service Workers. This vaccine is available at a cost from family doctors. Contact your local public Health Unit for more Information. “Adapted with permission by Central West P.S.S. Network”.

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