Reporting Exposure Incidents and Blood borne Pathogens

Reporting Exposure Incidents and Blood borne Pathogens

PURPOSE

To provide guidelines to clients/families/employees for investigating, controlling and preventing blood-borne diseases; and, to reduce or remove employee occupational exposures to blood or other potentially infectious material (OPIM).

POLICY

Your employer Practices Universal Precautions and other infection control measures in accordance with guidelines established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State Health Department when providing direct care to clients to minimize the chance of contracting and transmitting infections to employees/clients/families and the community- at-large.

DEFINITIONS

1. Blood-borne Pathogens

Blood-borne pathogens are germs (bacteria, virus etc.) that can cause a blood-borne disease. These pathogens are found in infected human blood and certain other body fluids, particularly semen and vaginal secretions. They may be passed from person-to-person, with any exposure to infected blood or infected body fluid. Blood-borne pathogens include, but are not limited to the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV).

2. Hepatitis B (HBV)

Hepatitis B is a serious disease usually caused by a virus, although it can also be caused by abuse of alcohol or other toxins. The virus can cause lifelong infection, cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and death. It can be transmitted from person to person through blood and other bodily fluids.

3. Hepatitis C (HCV)

HCV is a virus carried in blood, which causes liver inflammation and can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and death. Infection occurs when infected blood enters another person's bloodstream through broken skin or through mucous membranes.

4. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

HIV is the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). This virus may be passed from one person to another when infected blood, semen, or vaginal secretions come in contact with an uninfected person’s broken skin or mucous membranes. Some people with HIV may develop AIDS as a result of their HIV infection.

5. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

AIDS is caused by the HIV virus, which damages the immune system. It results in a lost of ability to defend against diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, and other microscopic organisms. It also leaves the body vulnerable to certain cancers. There is no cure for but medical treatments can slow down the rate at which HIV weakens the immune system

6. Engineering Controls

Engineering controls refer to methods of isolating hazards or removing hazards from the home environment by using containers for disposing sharp objects. e.g. Appropriate containers are used for discarding insulin syringes.

7. Work Practice Controls

Work Practice Controls are practical techniques that reduce the likelihood of exposure by performing tasks in a way that promote safety. Controls include such things as correctly washing hands, correctly handling sharp objects and correctly handling/transporting specimens.

PROCEDURES

Employees shall:

1. utilize Universal Precautions in the performance of their duties;

2. follow the employer’s policies on Universal Precautions when performing duties that may expose them to blood-borne diseases;

3. report the details to the Supervisor whenever they notice another employee is not following Universal Precautions;

4. follow the employer’s individual policies specific to personal protective equipment: “Gloves”, “Gowns and Aprons”, “Masks and Protective Goggles”;

5. follow employer’s policy on “Exposure Control Plan for Blood-borne Diseases”,whenever they come into direct contact with a blood-borne disease;

6. know their individual status regarding HIV, HBV and HCV;

7. understand and follow the employer’s policy on “Immunizations;

8. treat all body fluids and materials as if they are infectious;

9. make every effort to protect themselves from splashes, sprays and other means that could exposure them to infectious diseases;

10. apply established engineering controls;

11. follow the controls for good work practices;

12. recognize and adhere to work restrictions based on infection control concerns;

13. report health symptoms and/or exposure to any blood-borne or infectious disease to their Supervisor immediately;

14. not keep food and beverages in areas where blood and other potentially infectious materials are present such as cabinets, refrigerators, countertops or benches;

15. not handle blood or other potentially infectious substances, if they have skin sores, which are actively seeking.