Bloodborne Pathogens: A Must for Healthcare Workers

Bloodborne pathogens are infectious agents that can be transmitted from person to person through exposure to blood or other bodily fluids. There are many different types of bloodborne pathogens, each associated with specific diseases. The most common bloodborne infections in the United States include hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV)—two of the most serious infectious diseases in the world. While these infections have similar symptoms and treatments, there are some differences between them that may impact how they're managed in your medical facility:

What are bloodborne pathogens?

The term bloodborne pathogens refers to diseases that can be transmitted by blood. These include hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. Bloodborne pathogens can be transmitted through any of the following:

  • Blood (including menstrual blood)
  • Body fluids such as semen, vaginal secretions, and saliva; however it's important to note that some body fluids may contain other pathogens (such as syphilis).

If you come into contact with any of these substances while working as a healthcare worker, it's essential that you know how to properly dispose of them so they don't contaminate others or yourself. Proper disposal means safely disposing of them in a biohazard bag or other container

How can you protect yourself against bloodborne pathogens?

  • Always wear protective clothing.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after working with blood or body fluids.
  • Don't share needles, syringes, or other sharp instruments.
  • Don't reuse needles and syringes (unless they have been properly sterilized).
  • Don't smoke around people who have hepatitis or HIV because tobacco smoke contains carbon monoxide, which can reduce the effectiveness of oxygen therapy for these illnesses and make them more serious if your health worker has to treat you for an injury related to bloodborne pathogens.
  • Handle blood and other bodily fluids carefully when disposing of them by using disposable gloves when handling needles/syringes etc.
  • Clean up spills immediately with bleach or disinfectant before they become a hazard to others who may come into contact with them later on the line! Also, remember not to touch your mouth eyes nose after handling blood without washing first otherwise there's a risk of disease transmission through saliva too.
  • If someone pricks themselves while handling sharp objects like needlepoints then seek immediate medical attention as soon as possible so that proper care can be given quickly enough before any lasting damage occurs.

What do you need to know about hepatitis B and C?

Hepatitis B and C are two types of viruses that can be transmitted through contact with infected blood. Both viruses can spread through a needle or syringe that has been used by an infected person.

Hepatitis B is a serious disease that can cause liver failure and death. Hepatitis C is also a chronic infection, but it does not always cause symptoms or harm your liver. Even without symptoms, however, hepatitis C can lead to scarring in your liver (cirrhosis) or liver cancer over time if left untreated.

There is no vaccine for hepatitis C--the only way to prevent getting this virus is by avoiding sharing needles with others who have it or being exposed to their blood during medical procedures like dialysis or surgery where you may need blood products such as plasma transfusions or platelet infusions

What happens if I get infected with a bloodborne pathogen?

Bloodborne pathogens are not contagious. This means that they cannot be transmitted from one person to another through casual contact. However, if you are infected with a bloodborne pathogen and your skin breaks or an open wound occurs, there is the risk of transmission. The most common way for healthcare workers to get these illnesses is through needle sticks--the accidental stick by a contaminated needle while drawing blood or administering medication--and less commonly by exposure to other body fluids such as vomit or feces during procedures such as endoscopies (looking inside the digestive tract).

The diseases caused by these viruses can lead to serious illness or death if left untreated; however, they can also be prevented with proper precautions and vaccinations against hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. HBV is spread through contact between infected blood and mucous membranes such as those found inside the mouth or nose during sexual activity with someone who has been infected with HBV; through contaminated needles used for injection drug use; from mother-to-child at birth before 1992 when routine immunization was introduced in Australia; from mother-to-child after 1992 if no protection measures were taken during pregnancy/birth delivery including postnatal vaccination within 24 hours after birth followed by three additional doses given at 6-month intervals until 9 months old - this applies only where mothers do not have chronic hepatitis B infection themselves because immunity conferred by vaccination may prevent transmission but does not eliminate risk entirely due to possible rebound reinfection/recovery within several years following birth due mostly likely due long term persistence viral load levels within hepatocytes without treatment being available today...

Be sure that you take all the necessary precautions when dealing with blood, such as wearing protective clothing.

  • Wear protective clothing, such as gloves, a face mask, and eye protection.
  • Use a barrier device when drawing blood or performing other tasks that may involve exposure to bloodborne pathogens.
  • Wash your hands after performing any procedure that could potentially expose you to these pathogens.
  • Use detergent or disinfectant to clean surfaces before and after treating patients who are infected with these diseases.


In conclusion, it is important that you know how to protect yourself against bloodborne pathogens. This is a topic that all healthcare workers need to be aware of, and it should also be discussed in schools as well so students can learn about the dangers before entering into this field of work.


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