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Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment includes clothing and equipment worn by an individual during activities which may result in exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Personal protective equipment always starts with gloves but may also include gowns, face shields, eye protection and pocket masks.

  • Latex gloves and gowns-gloves and gowns protect your skin and hands from coming into contact with blood.

  • Face Shield and eye protection-these items prevent blood from entering the mucous membranes through the eyes, nose or mouth.

  • Pocket Mask-a pocket mask refers to any one of many types of devices used while performing CPR or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Bloodborne Pathogens

Pathogens are disease-causing microorganisms. Bloodborne pathogens are viruses or bacteria present in human blood and body fluids which can infect and cause disease in humans. The two most notable of these are Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS, and the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Learn more about bloodborne pathogens here.


Housekeeping refers to methods for cleaning and decontaminating infected surfaces and the disposal of blood and body fluids. All decontamination must include the use of an appropriate disinfecting solution, such as one part bleach to ten parts water.



There is a safe and effective vaccine to prevent the HBV infection. The Bloodborne Pathogens Standard required that organizations with individuals at risk must offer the HBV vaccine free of charge. Those individuals who choose not to accept the vaccine will be asked to sign a statement indicating their decision. However, if in the future the person decides to get the vaccine, and is still at risk, the person may get the vaccine free of charge.

The vaccine is a series of three injections, which will be administered at the WPI Health Services Infirmary, located in Stoddard C.


There is not yet available a vaccine for HIV.

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