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Bloodborne Pathogens Quiz

QUESTION

What are the ways infectious microorganisms known as bloodborne pathogens which cause disease in humans, are transmitted?

ANSWER

Bloodborne pathogens can be transmitted through blood and other bodily fluids by:

  • Sexual contact.
  • Use of dirty needles.
  • Direct blood to blood contact.
  • Contact with mucous membrane.
  • Open cuts and sores.

WHY IS IT RIGHT

Prevention of Bloodborne Pathogens

  • Take Universal Precautions and treat all blood, bodily fluids, and any other objects as if they are infected.

Engineering Controls:

  • Sharps containers for disposing of used needles
  • Mechanical devices to pick up contaminated items
  • Self-capping syringes

Administrative Controls:

  • Proper housekeeping, sanitation, and disposal procedures
  • Clearly labeling sharps container
  • Not eating, drinking, or applying makeup in work areas

Occupational Exposure

Occupational exposures can occur through needlesticks or cuts from other sharp instruments contaminated with an infected patient’s blood (including blood contaminated saliva) or through contact of the eye, nose, mouth, or skin with a patient’s blood. Health care personnel are at risk for occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens — pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).  Following a specific exposure, the risk of infection varies depending on factors such as:

  • The pathogen involved.
  • The type and severity of exposure
  • The amount of blood involved in the exposure
  • The amount of pathogen in the patient’s blood at the time of exposure.

Although most exposures do not result in infection, the exposed person should be evaluated immediately by a qualified health care professional in case treatment is needed.

If You Experience Occupational Exposure!!!

If you experienced a needlestick, cut yourself with a sharp instrument, or were exposed to the blood or another body fluid of a patient, immediately follow these steps:

  • Wash the site of the needlestick or cut with soap and water.
  • Flush splashes to the nose, mouth, or skin with water.
  • Irrigate eyes with clean water, saline, or sterile irrigants.
  • Report the incident to your supervisor or the person in your practice responsible for managing exposures.
  • Immediately seek medical evaluation from a qualified health care professional because, in some cases, post exposure treatment may be recommended and should be started as soon as possible.

WHY IS EVERYTHING ELSE WRONG

The first step in the prevention of bloodborne pathogens is to identify those workers most at risk for exposure. Those persons at risk will include first responders, housekeeping personnel in some industries, nurses and other health care workers. That being said, those people will have to be trained properly in the handle, use and storage of instruments capable of transmitting pathogens. More importantly “people at risk” will be properly trained and attuned to bloodborne pathogens hazards and dangers in their workplace. Everything else is wrong!!!