CPR + First Aid + BBP Certification Manual: Transmission

Bloodborne Pathogens: Transmission

Transmission happens when an individual comes into contact with blood, saliva, semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, sputum, vomit, breast milk, blood or body fluids, or any bodily fluid by way of an open wound or by means of absorption (such as swallowing) from another individual. Transmission of bloodborne pathogens can occur through contact with infected blood or body fluids, including through mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth. The transmitting individual is referred to as the source individual.

Some examples of bloodborne pathogen contamination would be if you were stuck by a used needle, treated an open wound without gloves or had another person’s blood splattered on your face and/or mouth. Health care workers are at particular risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Exposure to a possible BBP is a dangerous and serious matter that requires immediate actions to be taken. Understanding the viable means of transmission in the workplace is crucial for preventing the transmission of bloodborne pathogens.

Examples of Diseases Spread by BBPs: HIV (causes AIDS), Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Malaria, Syphilis, Brucellosis

Special Note: Contaminated needles and objects that represent a penetration hazard (like in the picture above) are referred to as contaminated sharps. Contaminated sharps should be disposed of special disposal containers.