Staff members, through the course of daily activities, may find themselves exposed to the blood or body fluids of another individual. The concern involved with exposure to blood or body fluids is possible exposure to Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV. The risk associated with an exposure to bloodborne diseases is determined by the nature of the exposure, the immunization status of the exposed person and the risk factors associated with the source.
The health unit serves as a source of information to members of the community related to possible exposure to bloodborne diseases through contact with the blood or body fluids of another person.
Health Unit staff will assess the circumstances of the exposure, provide recommendations for actions to the person or their health care provider, and facilitate voluntary testing of the source where appropriate.
First Aid Management
The following actions are recommended:
- Remove the contaminated clothes as appropriate.
- Immediately allow the wound to bleed freely.
- Wash the wound and injured area well with soap and water. Apply an antiseptic if available. However, there is no evidence that antiseptic use reduces risk of pathogen transmission. Application of caustic agents such as bleach or injection of antiseptics or disinfectants into the wound is not recommended.
- If the eyes, nose or mouth are involved, flush well with large amounts of water or saline (at least 1000cc's).
- Seek immediate medical assistance - preferably at a hospital emergency department.