5 Quick Facts About Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne pathogens are disease-causing bacteria and viruses that are present in the blood and body fluids of the infected. These infected fluids, in case of exposure, are capable of causing fatal diseases like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV in healthy human beings.

For the prevention of the diseases caused by bloodborne pathogens, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the United States Department of Health has come up with a set of rules or standards. These standards apply to all those people who are required to work with human body fluids directly or may be in contact with the body fluids indirectly. Here is a list of 5 facts about bloodborne pathogens, which can help you keep yourself, your family and coworkers safe.

• Bloodborne pathogens may spread through direct/indirect contact or droplet transmission. When the infected body fluid enters the healthy body through wounds or cuts or other gateways, it is called the direct transmission. Indirect transmission is when the object or equipment infected with deadly blood or fluids is used by a healthy person and the pathogens enter the body. Droplet transmission is when the healthy person inhales the droplets from the sneeze or cough of the infected person.

• Bloodborne pathogens spread in very favorable conditions. The unhealthy fluids contain some very deadly disease-causing bacteria and viruses, in a fairly good quantity. For the person being infected, if he is susceptible to the pathogens, he will definitely be infected. The pathogen also needs to enter the body through the correct site. Entry into the body or the blood stream triggers the infection, not mere touching.

• Those working with blood and body fluids need to be trained. Care has to be taken by the people who handle blood and body fluids on daily basis. The professionals working in the healthcare industry, doctors, physicians, nurses, paramedics and laboratory personnel are trained to handle the fluids. All others who may be in contact with the body fluids like the janitors and workers in the hospitals are also required to be trained to handle them.

• Bloodborne pathogen infections can be prevented. With care on the part of those who work in the healthcare industry and others who may be in contact with human body fluids, the infections caused by bloodborne pathogens can be easily prevented. As per the OSHA guidelines, the professionals have to practice the 'universal precautions'. The universal precautions are a set of rules that assume that all blood and body material is infected. Working on this assumption, the professional are required to take precautions to keep themselves free of infections.

• Exposure control procedures need to be in place in case of accidental exposure. In spite of all precautions taken, there may sometimes be lapses, for which the staff should always be prepared. The exposure control is divided into engineering control and the workplace control.

With the proper precautions and care, the transmission of the blood borne pathogens can be avoided and the diseases can be prevented. Care has to be taken by all those in the healthcare industry to keep themselves safe first.

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