Precautions for local biohazard cleanup services

Joe Cole

Standard precautions local biohazard cleanup services take when working with blood, other body fluids, organs, tissues. The implementation of standard precautions implies that the blood and body fluids should be considered as potentially infectious and that appropriate protective measures should always be taken when cleaning them. Precautions must be observed […]

Standard precautions local biohazard cleanup services take when working with blood, other body fluids, organs, tissues.

The implementation of standard precautions implies that the blood and body fluids should be considered as potentially infectious and that appropriate protective measures should always be taken when cleaning them.

Precautions must be observed when handling blood and other body fluids, as well as those fluids for which the degree of hazard has not yet been determined:

semen

saliva

cerebrospinal, pleural, peritoneal fluid

amniotic fluid

other

Local biohazard cleanup services must necessarily observe precautions when working with any human tissues and organs as well as with any biological fluids. To avoid infection with blood-borne infections local biohazard cleanup services should avoid:

Injuries from careless handling of contaminated items;

Contact of blood and other biological fluids with mouth, eyes, nose and damaged skin (cuts, scratches, dermatitis, acne);

Touching the eyes, nose, mouth and damaged skin when working with biological fluids and contaminated surfaces.

Blood transmitted infections.

Examples of blood-borne infections are: viral hepatitis B, viral hepatitis C, human T-cell leukemia/lymphoma virus (HTLV) infection, HIV infection, and viral hemorrhagic fevers (eg, Lassa, Marburg, Ebola) . Other viruses that can also be transmitted through the blood due to their persistence in leukocytes include cytomegalovirus, hepatitis E virus and HHV-6.

The risk of infection after exposure of intact mucosal surfaces to HIV-infected blood is approximately 0.09% (95% confidence interval: 0.006–0.5%). The risk of infection after contact of intact skin with HIV-infected blood or contact with other body fluids has not been established but it’s worth avoiding this contact as well. There are factors that increase the risk of infection.

If contact with blood or other biological fluids has occurred with intact skin it’s necessary to take the following measures:

urgently treat the site of contamination with one of the disinfectants (70% alcohol solution, 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, 3% chloramine solution);

wash with soap and water and re-treat with alcohol.

If there was contact with blood or other biological fluids in case of skin damage (prick, cut), those specialists who work for local biohazard cleanup services must follow the following steps:

remove gloves with the working surface inside;

to squeeze out blood from a wound, an injection;

treat the affected area with one of the disinfectants (70% ethyl alcohol, 5% iodine solution – for cuts, 3% hydrogen peroxide solution);

wash your hands thoroughly with soap and running water, and then wipe them with a 70% solution of ethyl alcohol;

apply a plaster on the wound.

In the crime scene there might be various sharp objects infected by viruses, for instance syringes, needles, broken glass, etc. That’s why it’s forbidden to touch these objects with hands, even if the cleaning staff wear the gloves. All potentially infected items should be immediately placed in a strong, leak-proof container for destruction. In rooms where there is a risk of infection, it is forbidden to eat, drink and smoke.

Every member of staff who provides local biohazard cleanup services must have along with professional cleaning products necessary medications to prevent being infected with dangerous viruses. Health and safety of workers of local biohazard cleanup services should come first and there shouldn’t be any compromise to it. In case any member of cleaning staff has any cuts It’s important to use personal protective equipment (latex (rubber) gloves, gown, waterproof apron, goggles or screen) when carrying out activities that involve contact with body fluids.

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