Keeping ourselves safe in the current #healthcare environment is a top priority. It is important, however, to not only keep ourselves safe from exposure to #COVID-19, but also to the risks that were prevalent in the workplace before the pandemic hit.
#BloodbornePathogens continue to be a risk to healthcare professionals. Everyone is working diligently to protect themselves through layers of PPEs. The proper use of these potentially life-saving items is crucial. The virus is currently the top concern among healthcare workers. However, patients still require IVs and blood draws during this time where accidental sticks can occur. As with the virus, healthcare workers should treat all blood and bodily fluids as if they are infectious.
Proper #PPEs are essential to prevent accidental exposure to bloodborne pathogens. While these items may be in short supply currently, wearing gloves, masks and gowns in the correct manner are vital. Equally important is the removal of PPEs. Healthcare workers who remove gloves incorrectly or grab the front of a gown with their bare hands risk exposure to any infectious agent they were exposed to including bodily fluids, tissues or excretions.
PPEs should be removed from the inside out, touching only the interior of the PPE (ie gown, glove or mask) and immediately disposed of in a proper bag or container. Healthcare workers should then wash all areas affected with soap and warm water, scrubbing the area vigorously to remove any potential contaminants. Additionally all trash should be handled as if it contained #infectious material.
When cleaning a potentially infected area PPEs should be worn and disposed of properly. Make sure you are using the appropriate disinfectant and thoroughly clean the area before proper disposal of PPEs.
Preventing #exposure to bloodborne pathogens is as important now as it has ever been. Be sure to review the guidelines at your practice to make sure you are following proper procedure to keep both you and your patients safe.
Safety Tips: Bloodborne Pathogens Awareness Sheet (Download Sheet Here): This safety tips sheet is for awareness purposes only and is intended for employees who are not anticipated to come into contact with blood or body fluids on the job, but should still be aware of how to protect themselves from the dangers of bloodborne pathogens.