Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bloodborne Pathogen Training Standards - 5 Solutions

    Bloodborne pathogens refer to the disease carrying organisms that are present in a patients' blood. They can pass on to another person under certain circumstances that often arise when working with infected blood. However, bloodborne pathogen training can teach you to understand and manage the associated risks which are always present due to the nature of certain occupations.

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has laid down certain standards so that bloodborne pathogen training covers all the vital areas and provides complete knowledge about the risks.

    Following are the 5 important points that any Bloodborne Pathogen training should cover:

    • Recognizing Threats: The first thing that you must know is the different diseases that can be caused by such bloodborne pathogens. Besides the three major diseases including Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and Hepatitis B and C, there are a number of other ailments like viral hemorrhagic fever, leptospirosis arboviral infections, syphilis, brucellosis, Babesiosis and malaria that are less common but can also be caused by such pathogens. There are many more diseases, too, which you can learn about depending on your area of work.

    • Fluid Exposure: Bloodborne pathogens spread through blood of course, but there are several other body fluids that carry the organisms too. Some such fluids include cerebrospinal, amniotic, semen, vaginal discharges and most of the fluids from your lungs and body cavities. On the other hand such pathogens generally do not pass through tears, urine, sweat and secretions of the nose, however even these fluids can become dangerous if they get mixed with the infected blood. Furthermore, the risk of the pathogens passing through saliva will depend on the kind of disease and if there is any bleeding injury in the mouth.

    • Spread of Pathogens: Bloodborne pathogens can cause infection when they enter the body of another person; there are a number of ways this can happen. The most common way of transmission is through accidental injury caused due to sharp objects like needles or any broken and contaminated instruments. Furthermore such organisms can easily enter your system when the infected fluid comes in contact with the mucus membrane or any broken or open skin. Such diseases can also pass on from a pregnant mother to her child.

    • Avoiding Exposure: Your training should adequately cover the preventive measures to be taken for avoiding the spread of the pathogens. Universal precautions cover various aspects of protection like using personal gear like gloves and masks, maintaining hygiene, sterilization, and proper disposal of all contaminated materials.

    • Handling Exposure: Even after taking all the precautions at times there might be an accidental exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Your training must also prepare you for such situations so that the matter is reported and treated promptly and any other protocol like follow-ups, maintaining reports and informing the relevant authorities are adhered to at all times.

    The above points will ensure that you not only have the theoretical knowledge of bloodborne pathogens but also know how to deal with it in a host of different circumstances, and must therefore be a part of any such training.

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