If you are a healthcare professional, the risk for occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens is very high. “Bloodborne Pathogens means pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and can casue disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to, Hepatitis B Virus, Hepatitis C Virus, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).” (OSHA) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Exposures occur through needlesticks or cuts from other sharp instruments contaminated with an infected patient’s blood or through contact of the eye, nose, mouth, or skin with a patient’s blood.”
Healthcare professionals, as well as employees in the fields of Crime Scene Cleanup, Embalming/forensics, Tank Cleaning, Fiberglass Manufacturing, Animal Research, and Emergency Medical Response, protecting yourself from potential exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens is extremely important. Kimberly Clark offers Bloodborne Pathogens Coveralls to protect workers from pathogens, bodily fluids, bacteria and more. These coveralls pass ASTM F1670-1671 testing for penetration of blood, body fluids and bloodborne pathogens.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends the following if you are stuck by a needle or other sharp instruments, or get blood or other potentially infectious materials in your eyes, nose, mouth, or on broken skin:
- Immediately flood the exposed area with water and clean any wound with soap and water or a skin disinfectant if available.
- Report this immediately to your employer
- Seek immediate medical attention