Blood-Borne Pathogens

The campus goal is to reduce or eliminate exposure potential to human blood-borne pathogens (BBP). Campus workers may be at risk of exposure to BBP such as hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C, syphilis, malaria, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Any campus worker for whom there is a "reasonable anticipation" of exposure to human blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) that could cause infections while on the job must be included in the program. It is the responsibility of supervisors, principal investigators and department heads to identify and ensure all workers are properly trained in the blood-borne pathogens program. Typical campus employees in the following job responsibilities have reasonably anticipated occupational exposure:

  • Laboratory staff and students that handle blood and OPIM.
  • Employees with first aid responsibilities.
  • Lifeguards, Recreation center facility managers
  • First Aid providers in Child Care facilities.
  • University Police Officers.
  • Custodians who may clean-up blood/body fluid in a work area.

The concept of "Universal Precautions" refers to the treatment of all potentially infectious blood or body fluids as if known to be infectious. These precautions are observed for all human blood, blood products, certain body fluids (semen, vaginal, cerebrospinal, synovial, pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, and amniotic), body fluids with visible blood, unfixed human tissue or organ, animal blood and tissue with known zoonotic disease or unknown sources. This laboratory infection control method will help prevent laboratory-associated infections and spread of communicable disease.

The simple "ABCDE's" of laboratory infection control are:

  1. Avoid contact with potential BBPs (Protective gloves, glasses, lab coat & HEPA respirator).
  2. Be prepared with proper supplies/equipment (Biosafety spill kits, safety equipment, etc.).
  3. Clean and sanitize contaminated surfaces with a proper disinfectant.
  4. Dispose or treat biohazardous waste, sharps, contaminated clothing, etc. properly.
  5. Every time: wash your hands well and no eating, drinking, smoking, etc. in laboratory.

Note: Hepatitis B Vaccine - complete protection against hepatitis B requires administration of 3 intramuscular injections at 0, 1, and 6 months. Contact Occupational Health and Safety Program (573) 882-0182 for more information.

If there are any questions or additional information needed regarding blood-borne pathogens (BBP), please contact the campus Biological Safety Professional at (573) 882-7018.