Universal Precautions

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March 1st 2011
MAST 1
Universal Precautions
Universal precautions are guidelines regarding to infection control. These guidelines are used to safeguard workers from coming in contact with diseases that are spread by blood and certain body fluids. The Laboratory Centre for Disease Control, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Health Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada have come up with a policy of “Universal Precautions.” These are guidelines to prevent transmission of blood-borne pathogens in the health care setting. These precautions emphasize that all patients should be assumed to be infectious for blood-borne diseases, such as AIDS and Hepatitis Bepatitus hhhvb . When used in the health care setting, these precautions are sometimes referred to as “routine precautions” and “standard precautions.”

Universal precautions should be applied in all workplaces when workers come in contact with blood or other body fluids such as, semen, vaginal discharge, synovial fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, pleural fluid, peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid and amniotic fluid. These safety measures do NOT apply to feces, nasal secretions, sputum, sweat, tears, urine, vomit and saliva, unless you work in a dental office, where saliva is likely to be contaminated with blood. Workers should practice Universal precautions when the body fluid is not easy to recognize, or if the bodily fluid is tainted with blood.

Workers can protect themselves from exposure to blood and certain bodily fluids by using barriers for protection in the workplace. One type of barrier is called personal protective equipment or PPE. PPE includes gloves, lab coats, gowns, shoe covers, glasses with shields on each side, goggles, masks and resuscitation bags. The purpose of PPE is to keep blood and other bodily fluids from coming into contact with the workers skin, mucous membranes or personal clothing.

Engineering controls are another type of barrier. This is a method of isolating or removing...
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