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Blood and Body Fluids Exposure Response Procedures

printable fact sheet for operators

What is the health risk? 

You and your clients are at risk of being exposed to HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or other microorganisms such as bacteria or fungi.

You do not have to see blood or body fluids on equipment or surfaces for an infection to occur.

Facts about blood-borne diseases

  • An individual infected with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV may not show symptoms right away, but can still transmit these diseases.
  • The Hepatitis B virus can survive on surfaces, such as metal, cotton and glass for two weeks or longer.
  • There is a vaccine that will protect you from getting Hepatitis B but there are no vaccines to protect you against Hepatitis C or HIV. Wash hands before and after using gloves.

What is a blood or body fluid exposure?

  • A poke from a used needle;
  • A cut from a used sharp object;
  • A splash of blood or body fluid onto broken skin (an open wound, cut or rash);
  • A splash of blood or body fluid into the eyes, nose or mouth;
  • Touching or handling contaminated instruments or surfaces with broken skin (an open wound, cut or rash).

What you should do if exposed to blood and/or body fluid?

  • Protect yourself, wear single use disposable gloves prior to handling or dressing the wound; gloves should also be worn when handling items that have been contaminated with blood or body fluid.
  • Wash the skin exposed to blood or body fluid with soap and water. If the area is bleeding, allow it to bleed freely.
  • Flush the eyes, nose or mouth with water if they have been exposed to blood or body fluid.
  • Apply a skin antiseptic, like 70% isopropyl alcohol, and cover with a clean, preferably sterile dressing or bandage.
  • Seek medical attention immediately if exposed to blood or body fluid.
  • Clean and then disinfect all surfaces contaminated with blood or body fluid using an intermediate to high-level disinfectant, such as ¼ cup of bleach to 2 ¼ cups of water, allowing it to contact the surface for 10 minutes. Refer to Disinfection solutions using household bleach (5.25%) chart for details.
  • Dispose of cloths used for wiping up blood or other body fluid by placing them in a sealed plastic bag and then in the garbage.


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Revised: Friday May 06 2011

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