Download UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS summary - UCP Central PA Education

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Universal Precautions is a method for preventing the transmission of blood borne infections. It is
based on the concept that control measures should be taken with all patients because there is no way
to know for sure who is infected and who is not. Many patients will be unaware that they are carriers
of a blood borne disease and testing may not determine if they are infectious at the time of treatment.
You can observe Universal Precautions by doing the following:
 Treat all human blood, any body fluid containing blood, and any other potentially infectious body
fluids (semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk) as if they are known to be infectious for HIV and
Hepatitis B Virus. Note that Universal Precautions recommend that all blood, body fluids,
secretions (except sweat) and excretions, non-intact skin, and mucous membranes be treated as
 Treat all used needles and other sharps as if they are contaminated and able to infect you if you are
Personal Protective Equipment is specialized clothing or equipment worn by a healthcare worker for
the protection against hazard.
 Gloves: use gloves any time contact with blood or other body fluids may occur. For example when
touching any mucous membranes or broken skin. Change gloves if they are torn, and after contact
with each person. Do not reuse disposable gloves.
 Masks and eye protection: should be used if there is any chance that blood or other body fluids
may splash into your mouth, nose or eyes.
 Gowns or aprons: should be used if splashing of blood or other body fluids is likely.
Post-exposure response
What should be done after an exposure incident? If you suffer a puncture wound with a used needle
or other sharp, if you experience broken skin or mucous membrane contact with potentially infectious
body fluid, you should do the following:
 Wash the exposed area immediately. This may help prevent the pathogens from entering your
body. Save any sharps or other items involved for possible testing. Take proper safety precautions
with these items so others will not be accidentally exposed.
 File an exposure incident report with your employer and consult with a doctor. A post-exposure
confidential evaluation should be provided free of charge.
 Be sure to report: a needle stick injury or other cut or puncture; splashing of blood or other body
fluids into your mouth, eyes or nose; direct contact with a large amount of blood or other
infectious fluids; prolonged contact with blood or other body fluids.
The single most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of disease is to correctly wash your
 How:
1. Remove jewelry; push up sleeves. Wet hands with warm, running water.
2. Apply liquid soap. (If not available, use bar soap, but liquid is best).
3. Wash hands for 20 seconds: include palms, backs, between fingers, thumbs, fingernails and
wrists. Use a nail brush after contact with stool, or if a food handler.
4. Rinse well with fingertips pointed down.
5. Dry hands with a hot air dryer or paper towel.
6. Turn off faucet with a paper towel, this avoids recontamination.