- Explain how bloodborne pathogens are transmitted and the risks they present
- Identify techniques that you and your employer can use to prevent exposures to bloodborne pathogens
- List the actions you should take if you suspect you may have been exposed to a bloodborne pathogen
The goal of this training is to educate employees to minimize their exposure to bloodborne pathogens.
Bloodborne pathogens are viruses carried in human blood and other body fluids that cause disease in people. There are many different bloodborne pathogens, including malaria and syphilis, but the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B (HBV), and hepatitis C (HCV) viruses, which can each lead to liver cancer, pose the most serious threat of workplace exposure.
Perhaps no other profession is more at risk of the hazards posed by bloodborne pathogens than the medical profession, but that’s not to say that awareness and prevention measures shouldn’t be prevalent in all workplaces, because the price of ignorance can be very costly and simple understanding of some bloodborne pathogen basics, really can save lives.
In the workplace, transmission is usually through injuries from contaminated sharp objects that penetrate the skin, such as needles, knives, broken glass, or from splashes into the mucous membranes of your eyes, nose, or mouth, or through exposed openings or abrasions in the skin from scratches, cuts, bites, or wounds.
Rule number one: treat all blood and body fluids as if they were infected. Always wear disposable gloves whenever there is a potential for exposure to blood, body fluids, or other potentially infectious materials. Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) may be required, depending upon the circumstances.
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