Blood-Borne Pathogens

Blood-Borne Pathogens

Blood-borne pathogens are pathogenic microorganisms such as the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) that are present in human blood and may cause disease in humans. Exposure to blood-borne pathogens may occur by skin, eyes, mucous membrane, or potential contact (direct or indirect) with blood or body fluids.

First aid/spill clean-up procedures involving blood/body fluids can potentially put responders at risk of exposure to blood-borne pathogens. Campus Services should be contacted for spill clean-up by calling 2260 from a campus phone or (360) 442-2260 from any other phone. The following precautions will greatly reduce the risk of exposure during first aid or spill clean-up procedures:

  1. Treat all blood and body fluids as if they are infectious.
  2. Use airway barrier protection to prevent contact with blood and body fluid. Use vinyl gloves or nitrile gloves instead of latex gloves, as many people are allergic to latex materials.
  3. Use rigid, puncture proof, non-porous containers, referred to as “sharps” containers, for used needles, contaminated sharp medical instruments, and contaminated broken glass.
  4. Wash hands after first aid or blood/body fluid clean-up procedures.
  5. Label contaminated sharps/medical waste containers with the word “Biohazard” and/or the color red. Label should include the following information: Generator's name (who collected the waste), contents and the location the waste was collected from (building and room number). Labels are available on request from Campus Security by calling 2271 from a campus phone or (360) 442-2271 from any other phone.
  6. Medical waste contaminated with blood and body fluids should be bagged separately in a red “Biohazard” bag and NOT placed in the regular trash. Call Security at 2911 from a campus phone or (360) 442-2911 from any phone to pick up the properly contained “Biohazard” waste.
  7. If exposed to a blood borne pathogen, seek a medical evaluation immediately and submit an Accident Report by visiting the Make a Report Page.

See also: Lower Columbia College's Blood-Borne Pathogen Exposure Control Plan.

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