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Many employers don’t think about the transmission of bloodborne diseases and the issue of cleaning blood and OPIM because they don’t work in Acute healthcare facilities. Risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens can happen in any type of facility. Special precautions are required when dealing with diseases that are transmitted through direct contact with infected blood or certain body fluids.
DEFINITION OF BLOOD, OPIM AND BODY SUBSTANCES
Human blood, human blood components, and products made from human blood
Other Potentially Infectious Materials:
• Human body fluids
• Other body fluid visibly contaminated with blood i.e. saliva, vomitus
• All body fluids where it is difficult to differentiate between body fluids i.e. emergency response situation
Though these substances do not contain blood, the same precautions are recommended for these biological spills
• Vomit (emesis)
Transmission of bloodborne diseases:
• Most common method of transmission is by needlesticks. However workers are at risk when they receive cuts from other contaminated sharps such as broken glass, scalpels, etc.
• Workers are also at risk when their mucous membranes (the eye, nose, mouth) or broken (cut or abraded) skin comes into contact with blood or OPIM.
Additional strategies can be implemented to further protect workers from potential bloodborne diseases
• Designate only trained staff to clean blood or OPIM.
Spills of blood and body substances such as urine, feces and vomit must be contained, cleaned and disinfected immediately. PIDAC recommends that the following procedures be followed:
1 Assemble materials required for dealing with spill prior to
putting on PPE
2 Inspect the area around the spill thoroughly for splatters or splashes
3 Restrict the activity around the spill until the area has been cleaned and disinfected and is completely dry
4 Put on gloves. If there is a possibility of splashing , wear a gown and facial protection (mask and eye protection or face shield).
5 Confine and contain the spill; wipe up any blood or body fluids immediately using either disposable towels or a product designed for this purpose. Dispose of materials by placing them into a regular waste receptacle, unless the soiled materials are so wet that the blood can be squeezed out of them, in which case they must be segregated into the biomedical waste container (i.e. yellow bag)
6 Disinfect the entire spill area with the hospital grade disinfectant and allow it to stand for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer
7 Wipe up the area again using disposable towels and discard into regular waste
8 Care must be taken to avoid splashing or generating aerosols during the clean up
9 Remove gloves and perform hand hygiene
If cleaning personnel are unsure whether the substance they are cleaning is blood, they should still take the above precautions. It’s best to assume all questionable substances and bodily fluids are contaminated with pathogens.
Follow the same procedures if the spill occurs on carpet. Arrange to have the carpet cleaned with an industrial carpet cleaning system as soon as possible. Carpeting is discouraged for areas where spills of blood or other body substances may be anticipated.
The presence of bad odors can affect the perception of cleanliness of a residence. Cleaning and disinfection of surfaces after a spill can eliminate many sources of bad odors but in some circumstances malodors can persist. That’s because a surface can look clean, but invisible odor-causing microbes may hide in areas that cleaning can’t remove. Grout, drains, refuse waste containers, bins for incontinence products and soft surfaces such as carpet and upholstery are known sources where malodors can reside. Using perfumed air fresheners to cover bad odors usually results in a bad smell mixed with perfumed scents.
Microbial based odor control products
Using microbial based odor control products as part of your cleaning regimen will eliminate the source of the malodors. Microbial based products are the result of combining two technologies: fast acting chemistry for immediate odor control and biotechnology for long term odor control. This double action goes directly to the source of malodors on hard surfaces, carpets and other upholstered surfaces. By controlling odors at a microscopic level the need for masking agents like perfume is eliminated.
Waste bins, trash compactors and dumpsters
Waste bins, trash compactors and dumpsters are a source of malodors when spills are disposed into it. Using a pump to spray a biosurfactant product at regular intervals controls these malodors at the source and prevents them from returning.