- You may not give it a thought. A co-worker cuts themselves and you help by wrapping the wound. You are the one of the first people there so you join others to help get victims out of the car. People who work around blood regularly have extra training, but everyone should be aware of blood borne pathogens.
When you suddenly are confronted with a person who has been in an accident, you probably want to rush to help. However, you need to be aware of the dangers of blood borne pathogens before you are involved in a bloody situation.
Here are 3 of the pathogens that you might come in contact with:
1. HIV. HIV, which becomes AIDS, is spread through blood and other bodily fluids. There is no vaccine against HIV and no cure for AIDS.
2. HBV. Hepatitis B is spread in the same way as AIDS. Fortunately, there is both a vaccine for HBV and a cure for the disease. It is unlikely that you have had the vaccine unless you routinely work in healthcare or other professions where you are routinely exposed to blood.
3. HCV. Hepatitis C is also transmitted by blood. Along with HBV, HCV can damage your liver. There are treatments for HCV. Newer treatments may be more effective and have fewer side effects. There is no vaccine again Hepatitis C.
The best way to protect yourself is to be prepared. Have a first aid kit in your car and in your home and make sure both include latex gloves. A face mask is also recommended. Here are 4 things to do to protect yourself at an accident site.
1.Attitude. Treat any blood or bodily fluid as if it is infected. This attitude will help you be aware and protect yourself.
2. Protective attire. If you have protective gloves and mask in a first aid kit, put them on before you attempt to give aid. If you have protective eye wear, use it. You may want to wear prescription or dark glasses to give your eyes some protection if nothing else is available.
3. Create a barrier. If you dont have protective gear, put a barrier between you and the wound if you are applying pressure or coming in contact with the area in any way. Use a non-porous material such plastic bag.
4. Dispose and wash. When you are done, remove your gloves and bag them so they dont expose someone else. Wash your hands well with an antibacterial soap. Scrub!
Dont take a chance. When you help a victim who is bleeding, take steps to protect yourself. If you ever had to deal with blood contamination in your home from an accident, suicide or death, call a certified bio-hazard Crime Scene Clean Up Phoenix company and make sure the cleanup will be done correctly.