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Bloodborne Pathogens

  • Updated U.S. Public Health Service Guidelines for the Management of Occupational Exposures to HBV, HCV, and HIV and Recommendations for Postexposure Prophylaxis for Healthcare Personnel

    Bloodborne pathogens are infectious organisms that are present in the blood and certain other body fluids of infected persons, and are transmitted by blood-to-blood contact.  Examples of bloodborne pathogens are the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B, virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV). The occupational routes of transmission of bloodborne pathogens are by 1) needlestick or cut from a contaminated sharp object; 2) splash to the eyes, nose, or mouth; and 3) contact with broken skin.

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030) requires that employers establish principles and general practices to prevent and manage infection with bloodborne pathogens through a written plan. The UMES Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan describes how exposure to bloodborne pathogens is managed in campus facilities.

    The plan applies to UMES employees who are occupationally exposed (have possible contact) to (1) human blood, human blood components, products made from human blood, or other potentially infectious materials (semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, any body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, all body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids; (2) Any unfixed tissue or organ (other than intact skin) from a human (living or dead); and (3) HIV-containing or HBV-containing culture medium or other solutions; and blood, organs, or other tissues from experimental animals infected with HIV or HBV.

    The plan includes the following:

    • Determination of employee exposure
    • Exposure control plan
    • Universal Precautions
    • Appropriate personal protective equipment
    • Housekeeping procedures
    • Hepatitis B Vaccination
    • Annual Bloodborne Pathogens training
    • Evaluation of exposure incidents