Exposure to Blood borne Pathogens (BBP) such as the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) or HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which causes AIDS) can be fatal. These pathogens and others may be present in body fluids or secretions such as blood, saliva, semen and vaginal secretions, clinical specimens/cultures, urine, and sometimes vomit and feces. Typically, the risk of exposure to blood borne pathogens in the typical CSU-Pueblo setting is relatively low. However, there is a potential for exposure whenever and wherever there is contact with body fluids. Treat all blood and body fluid (regardless of the person it may be from) as though it were potentially infected. The following are some examples of your potential contact:
- Administering first aid or CPR.
- Assisting sick or injured people who are bleeding, coughing-up blood or vomiting.
- Needle prick (e.g., while handling trash; administering medical assistance; drawing blood; or even moving furniture). Note- Seek medical advice after reporting the incident.
- Laboratory work involving unfixed tissue or organ from a human, or contact with HIV/ HBV-containing culture medium/solution, blood, tissue or organ.
- Cuts by sharp contaminated objects.
- Performing clean-up or custodial tasks.
- Handling laundry.
- Handling items contaminated with blood or other bodily fluids.*
*If you encounter a housekeeping situation with a high potential for exposure, do not handle the contaminated items. Secure the area and contact EH&S at 2747 from a campus phone. Special procedures are used for decontamination and disposal. Only trained staff should conduct these tasks.
Basic safety procedures consist of minimizing potential contact with body fluids and protecting exposure routes to your body by wearing personal protective equipment. Basic protection may consist of the following - depending on the type of exposure anticipated and the nature of the work being conducted:
- latex gloves or other non-permeable (liquid-proof) glove
- safety glasses with side shields or goggles
- puncture-resistant gloves
- microshield (a uni-directional shield used when administering CPR)
- medical face mask
- leak proof apron
When handling potentially contaminated media, avoid touching your face (nose, eyes and mouth). Practice good sanitation. Wash hands thoroughly with non-abrasive soap before eating, applying cosmetics, smoking or handling contact lenses. Disinfect contaminated surfaces and items with a solution of 10 parts water to one part bleach.
Sample Exposure Routes/Pathways:
- Mucus membranes (eyes, mouth, nose) or dermal
- Breaks, nicks, or cuts in the skin & unhealed injuries
- Excessively dry cracked skin or cuticles
- Open skin or mouth sores
Other Potential Forms of Exposure:
- Sexual contact
- Ingestion of contaminated media/fluids
CPR or First Aid
If you plan to administer First Aid or CPR in your area, it is important that you have an adequate first aid kit. The kit should include latex gloves, safety glasses with side shields or goggles, and mouth shields (microshields - unidirectional barrier for administering CPR). If you are not trained in first aid, make as little contact as possible with the injured.
Immediately following contact wash affected areas (hands, arms, face) with non-abrasive soap. Contact with mucus membranes (eyes, nose or mouth) should be thoroughly rinsed (use eyewash station for eyes if available - rinse for at least 15 minutes with tepid water). Put any items (such as gloves or clothes) that have blood or body fluids on them in a sealed plastic bag and mark it bio-hazard or use pre-labeled biohazard bags/containers. [call EH&S at 549.2531 for proper disposal procedures]
If you believe you have had a high risk exposure to BBP during work, it is essential that you report the potential exposure to your supervisor and HR immediately and seek medical advice. Students should contact the Student Health Center for advice and medical attention. Always consult your doctor or the Student Health Center for advice after any potential exposure.
Pre-exposure vaccines are available for Hepatitis-B. Consult the Student Health Center or your employer for additional information. No preventative vaccine currently exists for HIV (AIDS virus).
HBV and HIV are not spread through normal contact. These are not airborne pathogens like cold or flu viruses. In normal situations, you can work safely with people infected with HIV.