Sunday, November 27, 2011

Three Ways of Contracting Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne pathogens are disease carrying microorganisms that can transfer from one body to another through contact with infected blood. Bloodborne pathogens can be transferred through various body fluids like saliva, semen etc and not just blood. However, these pathogens do not get transmitted through casual physical contact but through unprotected sexual contact, cuts and wounds, infected needles, etc.

The most common ways that you can get exposed and therefore infected by bloodborne pathogens are:

• The most common way of getting infected by these viruses are through a needle prick. While there are many safety standards that specify not to use needles multiple times and to sterilize them properly, some human lapses have been a cause for major safety concerns.
• The next biggest risk is when people who have a bruise or a cut on the skin come into direct exposure to these bloodborne pathogens. Any open wounds, abrasions, skin cuts have a high risk of exposure through infected and contaminated blood. The best thing to do is to cover up all open wounds with proper bandage and use anti septic lotion in order to minimize the risk.
• The third most common thing that is most dangerous is contracting these pathogens through eyes and the mucous membranes. These pathogens enter another person through the inner lining of the eyes, mouth and nasal passages. Normally they are transferred due to sneezing or during an accidental injury which causes blood to splash around.

It is necessary that you take all possible care to avoid any of the above mentioned conditions at all times. This way the transmission of bloodborne pathogens can be minimized to a large extent.

Despite these precautions if there is accidental contact of blood or bodily fluids from person to person then you need to act quickly and in a prudent manner. You should not ignore these initial signs of contact as it can turn out to be fatal. As mostly it takes an average of nine months for the symptoms of any virus to surface, initial precautions can avert a disastrous situation of virus transmission.

The area that has come into contact with blood must be cleaned and washed thoroughly with antiseptic soap and water multiple times. The same step needs to be followed even for the eyes, mouth and nose when contact is suspected. The first thing that needs to be done is to identify the kind of contact that has taken place.

The second thing that needs to be done is to test the contacted person's blood for presence of any of these bloodborne pathogens. Subsequent action should be taken in a timely manner on receiving reports of the affected person and provide proper counseling and medical treatment.

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