Universal Precautions--What You Need to Know

Most medical professionals, whether they be an emergency medical technician (EMT), paramedic, nurse, or physician will agree one of the most import practices that they practice when coming in contact with patients is the practice of utilizing Universal Precautions.  

Universal precautions is the practice of using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to ensure the safety of themselves, victims, and patients from bloodborne pathogens (BBP) which are microorganisms found in blood that can cause disease. The most commonly used universal precaution is medical grade gloves, such as nitro or latex gloves to protect the rescuer from the victim and the victim from the rescuer by means of bodily fluid transmission from one to the other. Other examples of PPE are goggles, face shields, disposable caps and gowns. This critical gear prevents them from being contaminated with infectious materials. Consider the human body respiratory system and the disease Tuberculosis which is often associated with coughing of mucus or blood from deep inside the lungs. If a victim is coughing mucus or blood, then equipment like goggles or face shield would fall into the universal precautions to protect the rescuer from coming into contact with the infectious blood via the eyes or mouth.  It is also common practice amongst medical professionals to consider all blood groups to be potentially infectious until proven otherwise. 

How can you become knowledgeable on the use of standardized universal precautions to protect yourself and others? MyCPR NOW offers an online BBP easy-to-follow study manual, and online exam. The manual covers the importance of protective gear, transmission risks and dangers, steps to take if you are exposed, decontamination, and incident reporting procedures.

Employing universal precautions when responding to an emergency situation can ensure your safety and that of others. Take MyCPR NOW’s online BBP test and get certified today--learn how to protect yourself from BBPs!

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