Why is it essential to have bloodborne kits in the workplace and should staff be trained in using the kits?
It is essential to have bloodborne kits available in any workplace or areas where there is any chance of bodily injury leading to blood or body fluid spills. This is essentially because of the many bloodborne diseases and pathogens such as Hepatitis B and C as well as HIV/AIDS and many other blood and body fluid contaminants that first responders or others in the area may be exposed too if the kits are not present. Bloodborne kits are designed to provide a safe and sterile way to handle body and body fluids that not only protects and cleans the area but also protects the individual.
The use of bloodborne kits may be covered in specific types of industrial first aid training, however OSHA also has guidelines that should be routinely reviewed and understood by all workers that may be first responders to any type of accident or emergency with blood or body fluid spills. If the bloodborne kits also contain first aid supplies and CPR equipment then they can be covered in first aid training programs and routinely reviewed with staff. In times of emergency and crisis each person does need to understand how important it is both to use the bloodborne kit correctly as well as how to dispose of any of the used materials from the kit. How are waste materials from blood or body spills disposed of using the correct and recommended protocols? All bloodborne kits will provide specific information that follows OSHA's Bloodborne Pathogens Standard for disposal of waste materials containing human blood or body fluids. These instructions are typically found either on the inside cover of the case of the bloodborne kits or in small reference books that may also contain diagrams and charts on how to correctly collect and dispose of different types of body fluids.
Generally the kits will contain several large sized biohazard bags which are used for any materials that have been used in the clean up or have been worn as a precaution to prevent contamination with blood or body fluids. These bags are brightly colored and clearly labeled as biohazard, requiring separate disposal as per regulations. Garment disposal bags are typically clear, but in the case where the gown, gloves or mask has been contaminated they are treated as biohazard waste. Do most bloodborne kits provide safety for the first responders?
Yes, most bloodborne kits do provide safety garments and devices for anyone responding to an emergency or accident situation where there is blood or body fluid loss. These safety features include disposable long sleeved gowns, face masks, disposable vinyl or latex gloves, shoe covers and eye shields. In some kits extra CPR masks or shields are typically included in the kit along with antibacterial and germicidal types of wipes that can be used for any contact of blood or body fluids with the first responder's skin.