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By Greg Garner
Human blood that carries any infectious disease is known to have blood borne pathogens. The most common forms of blood borne pathogens that one thinks about when hearing of such are HIV, And Hepatitis, however, there are many viral infections, diseases, and illnesses that are carried in human blood and can be transferred though blood to blood contact.
Use Extreme Caution
Extreme caution should be taken if you must come into contact or close proximity to blood. If for instance, you witness an accident and see an injured person bleeding; your first instinct may be to rush to that person’s aid. However, if that person has a blood borne pathogen, there is a chance that you could contract this if that blood comes into contact with any open cut, sore, or abrasion in your skin. It can also be transmitted through contact with your eyes, mucus membrane in your nose, or if any gets into your mouth.
Assume The Presence Of Blood Borne Pathogens
In a situation like this, there is very little time to think about safety procedures. The first thing that you should do is to contact emergency services so that professional help will arrive as soon as possible. If you feel that you must help to prevent a death, use whatever means are necessary to prevent becoming contaminated. This means that you must assume that the injured party has a blood borne pathogen that could kill you if contracted by you.
Improvise Protective Measures
Use whatever you can find to protect your self if you decide to administer first aid to a bleeding person. This means that if you do not have gloves, you could look around for anything that would put a barrier between you and the injured person’s blood. A plastic back that has no breaks could be used as a glove. Even a large potato chip bag or something like one could be used. Any kind of plastic that is intact will help to protect you from a blood borne pathogen.
Do Not Touch Your Face
If you do find that you have blood on your hands or person, wash your hands or the affected area immediately. Be extremely careful to keep your hands away from your face. Do not wipe your eyes or allow blood anywhere near your eyes, nose, or mouth. Inspect your skin for open cuts or abrasions and scrub with soap as soon as is possible. If you feel that you could have been infected or have experienced blood-to-blood contact, go to the nearest emergency room and have your self checked out by professionals.
If you use common sense, you can avoid being infected by a blood borne pathogen. The most important thing to remember if you encounter an incident in which you must become involved is to keep your head. Maintaining your composure in an emergency will allow you to think clearly and take the important steps that will prevent possible infection from blood borne pathogens. Keep a first aid kit in the trunk of your car and in your home and stock it with disposable gloves and protective eyewear. This way, if you encounter this kind of situation, you will have protective supplies available.
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